Suu Kyi still detained but American freed

Suu Kyi still detained but American freed

YANGON, Aug 16 — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi remained under house arrest on Sunday but American John Yettaw, whose swim to her home in May led to her detention, was due to head home after a US senator secured his freedom.

Senator Jim Webb met Myanmar’s junta leader, Than Shwe, at the country’s remote new capital of Naypyidaw yesterday and his office in Washington later said Yettaw would be released.

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US senator secures American’s release from Burma

US Senator Jim Webb met Burma military ruler Than Shwe and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday after securing the release of a US citizen jailed for visiting Suu Kyi’s house in May.

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TIME:Virginia Senator Jim Webb Visits Junta Leader

The novels of U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) — the ex-Marine starting writing fiction long before he went to Washington — has depicted swashbuckling Americans seeking out thrilling adventures in exotic locales. Still even he might not have imagined a scenario in which the Vietnam-war-veteran-turned-politician jetted in on a U.S. military aircraft to the heavily fortified Burmese capital to meet with the reclusive leader of the country’s ruling military junta. On Aug. 15, Webb, who serves as chair of the Senate Foreign Relation’s subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs, became the first top-level American politician to meet with junta head Senior General Than Shwe.

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BBC:Burma’s junta unlikely to buckle

By Paul Reynolds

The intervention by US Senator Jim Webb to secure the release of American prisoner John Yettaw from Burma can be assessed in one of two ways.

The first is that it indicates a new and softer approach by the Burmese junta.

The second is that the release was a tactical manoeuvre by the junta to ease international pressure on itself.

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