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UN Official Says Burma May Be Referred to Security Council

A high-ranking United Nations official says Burma may be referred to the U.N. Security Council for its repressive policies and treatment of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Malloch Brown told reporters in Malaysia Monday that several members of the Security Council, including the United States, have been pressing the council to take up the Burmese situation.

Brown noted that Burma is one of the slowest countries in the world to introduce democratic reforms. He described political progress in that country as "glacial."

Burma's military government has held Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for most of the past 16 years. The government recently extended her confinement order until mid-2007, saying she remains a threat to the state.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is the leader of Burma's National League of Democracy opposition party.

The party won parliamentary elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. More than 100 of its senior leaders are currently in prison.

Supporters are planning rallies in Burma and other parts of the world today to mark Aung San Suu Kyi's 61st birthday and to demand her freedom.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP