Suu Kyi ‘not opposed’ to lifting of sanctions, says US Senator

BANGKOK: Detained Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is “not opposed” to the lifting of some sanctions against the country’s military junta, US Senator Jim Webb said today.

The regime allowed the Democrat to meet Suu Kyi on Saturday after she was convicted last week of breaching the terms of her house arrest and ordered to serve a further 18 months in detention.

Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi has publicly discouraged foreign investment in Myanmar in a bid to pile pressure on the military, but Webb has been a prominent critic of US sanctions. “With respect to Aung San Suu Kyi, I don’t want to take the risk of misrepresenting her views but I would say to you it was my clear impression from her that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions,” Webb said.

“I can say it was my impression from listening to her in the conversation that there were some areas that she would be willing to look at,” he told reporters in Bangkok.

Webb is on a two-week tour of Southeast Asia and his visit to Myanmar seemed to be primarily aimed at securing the release of American John Yettaw, who was sentenced alongside Suu Kyi for an incident in which he swam to her home.

Yettaw was deported from Myanmar on

Sunday, after Webb became the first senior US official to meet junta leader Than Shwe, and is currently being treated in a Thai hospital.