Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader marks 63rd birthday



YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s detained, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi marked her 63rd birthday by offering yellow roses Thursday at Yangon’s famous Shwedagon pagoda through a member of her political party.

The country’s ruling junta last month extended Suu Kyi’s house arrest for the sixth straight year in face of international protest.


Party member Myint Soe, who buys and daily brings food to the Nobel Peace prize laureate, offered 64 roses at the soaring Buddhist shrine, party sources said. The number signifies the beginning of Suu Kyi’s 64th year.

He also laid 64 yellow chrysanthemums at the tomb of Khin Kyi, Suu Kyi’s mother and wife of Myanmar’s independence hero Gen. Aung San. The tomb of Suu Kyi’s mother is located at the foot of the Shwedagon pagoda in Myanmar’s biggest city.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party celebrated her birthday by offering meals to Buddhist monks at its party headquarters several miles from her home.

A neighbor said Suu Kyi spent a quiet birthday inside her lakeside compound.

“There is no movement around the house. Only two policemen are guarding at the gate. Her compound is quiet. So far no visitors have come to bless her, no monks have come to accept alms,” said the neighbor, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

Suu Kyi has spent more than 12 of the last 18 years under detention. Her party swept national elections in 1990 but the military rulers refused to honor the results and instead are pursuing a so-called “road map to democracy” with the junta in full control of the process.


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