News / Asia

Burma Orders Aung San Suu Kyi's Party to Halt Political Activity

Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi addresses NLD youths during a meeting at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Rangoon, June 28, 2011
Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi addresses NLD youths during a meeting at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Rangoon, June 28, 2011

The Burmese political organization led by Aung San Suu Kyi says it has been ordered to halt all political activities.

A spokesman for the National League for Democracy told says the group is considering its response to the order, which came in a letter from the government. The NLD was forced to dissolve as a political party last year when it boycotted national elections because Aung San Suu Kyi - then under house arrest - was not allowed to participate.

Burma's official New Light of Myanmar newspaper quoted the Home Ministry letter as saying the NLD members "must stop such acts that can harm peace and stability and the rule of law, as well as the unity among the people." In a separate commentary, the newspaper said there may be "chaos" if Aung San Suu Kyi goes ahead with a planned tour around Burma.

The letter accused the NLD of maintaining offices and organizing meetings even though it has been dissolved. It advised the group to apply for registration as a new organization if it wishes to engage in social affairs.

The NLD challenged its dissolution through legal channels, appealing to the Supreme Court in November that the action was not legitimate. The appeal was rejected.

Reuters news agency quoted NLD spokesman Nyan Win saying the group has received the letter but has not decided on a response. The NLD challenged its dissolution through legal channels, appealing to the Supreme Court in November that the action was not legitimate. The appeal was rejected.

The NLD won the last election it contested 20 years ago with Aung San Suu Kyi at its head, but it was never allowed to take power. Aung San Suu Kyi spent most of the years since then under house arrest.

The separate commentary in New Light of Myanmar, which reflects the government's views, said the government will not interfere with Aung San Suu Kyi's right as an ordinary citizen to travel around the country. But it warned of the danger of riots if she stages a political tour, recalling a 2003 tour in which her motorcade was attacked by pro-government thugs.

Seventy of Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters were killed in the attack, which was seen as an assassination attempt, and the NLD leader was subsequently sentenced to seven years of house arrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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