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Myanmar

Yearbook 1999

Burma. According to Countryaah official website, the military junta continued to oppose the opposition. Many local branches of the National Democratic League (National League for Democracy, NLD) were disbanded, and thousands of members left the party following pressure and intimidation. Several hundred were said to have been arrested. The NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, sued several Junta members before the trial for illegal harassment, but lost as expected in the Supreme Court.

1999 Myanmar

A UN report criticized the functioning of the Burmese judiciary as the regime's political tool. The UN and Amnesty International also condemned the continued use of forced labor and abuse of ethnic minorities, especially in the states of Karen and Shan.

The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) was authorized in May to visit the country's prisons. Aung San Suu Kyi claimed that several institutions were secretly withheld from the ICRC and that hundreds of political prisoners were removed from Insein Prison in Rangoon prior to the delegation's arrival.

An EU delegation visited Burma in an attempt to contribute to a dialogue between the junta, the opposition and the ethnic minorities. The EU and the US also tried to get the Southeast Asian organization ASEAN to work for a political dialogue within Burma, but ASEAN defended itself against such "interference". In October, the EU extended its sanctions against Burma, including visa ban for official representatives and arms embargo.

The situation in the home country in September forced Burmese students in Bangkok to occupy their embassy for a day. No one was injured, but the occupation was condemned by the organized opposition.

Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Michael Aris passed away in the UK in March. He was refused a visa to be able to meet his wife one last time, and she declined the offer to visit him as she feared not to return if she left the country.

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