Thursday, May 14, 2009

အထိန္းသိမ္းခံ J.W. Yeattaw အား ရန္ကုန္ US သံရံုးအရာရိွေတြ႔ဆံုခြင္႕ရ

US consul meets American detained in Myanmar

1 hr 48 mins ago

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar authorities allowed a U.S. diplomat to visit an American arrested last week for swimming across a lake to sneak into the home of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a state television report Wednesday.

Myanmar state television showed a still photo of John William Yettaw meeting with consular chief Colin Furst. A U.S. diplomat confirmed the meeting, saying it lasted 30 minutes and that Yettaw appeared to be in good spirits and said he had been treated well.

The diplomat, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said that Yettaw had not yet been formally charged with any crime. He did not elaborate, calling the issue sensitive.

It was the first time a U.S. Embassy official had access to Yettaw since he was arrested May 6 after allegedly staying secretly for two days at Suu Kyi's house.

Wednesday's TV report said the meeting took place at the Aung Tha-byay police station in Yangon, which in the past has been used for detention and interrogation of suspected political dissidents.

Suu Kyi's supporters fear that Yettaw's reported stay could put her in legal jeopardy. Her personal doctor, one of the only people allowed to visit her on a regular basis, was detained last Thursday for no publicly announced reason.

She has been in detention for 13 of the last 19 years — including the past six — without trial for her nonviolent promotion of democracy despite international pressure for her release.

Myanmar's state-run newspapers reported last week that Yettaw, 53, of Falcon, Missouri, swam about 1 1/4 miles (2 kilometers) on the night of May 3 to the lakeside home of the 63-year-old Suu Kyi and left the same way on the night of May 5, before being arrested the next morning. The report said his motive was under investigation.

One of many strict rules Myanmar's military government imposes on citizens is that they must notify local officials about any overnight visitor who is not a family member. The law also states that foreigners are not allowed to spend the night at a local's home.

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