Chairwoman Hautala welcomes the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy leader and the 1991 Nobel laureate. Ms Suu Kyi has been in detention for 15 of the past 21 years.[:]
While her long awaited release is most delightful news, the future treatment of 65-years old Ms Suu Kyi remains a litmus test for the Burmese authorities. Only by allowing Ms Suu Kyi to continue her work unhindered Burma can redeem itself in the eyes of the international community only, Hautala noted.
Military authorities signed on 12th of November an order authorising the release of Ms Suu Kyi. She was feared to have to refuse the release if it is conditional upon excluding her from engaging political activity in Burma.
Her release takes place in the immediate aftermath of the 6th of November elections. Ms Suu Kyi was prohibited from taking part and her party, National League for Democracy, boycotted the elections, which international community has strongly denounced as neither free nor fair. The National League for Democracy won the previous elections, held in 1990, but was never allowed to take power.
She was due to be released last year and there have been several signals of her release in the past. None of these, however, bore result. Her current order of house arrest expired on Saturday 13th of November.
We are far from acceptable situation, but I hope we are now entering a new period, a period where dialogue between Ms Suu Kyi and the authorities would be an option, Ms Hautala added.