Suu Kyi rejects funeral `offer'

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AUNG SAN Suu Kyi, Burma's opposition leader, will not accept the offer by Burma's military government to let her travel to Britain for the funeral of her husband because she does not believe she would be allowed to return, diplomats said.

Ms Suu Kyi's husband, Michael Aris, a professor of Tibetan studies at Oxford University, died of prostate cancer in the Churchill Hospital in London on Saturday, his 53rd birthday. The military government had refused to grant him a visa to visit Burma to see his wife for the last time.

The government told Ms Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, that it would guarantee she would be allowed to return to Burma provided she conducted no political activities while abroad. Ms Suu Kyi spurned the offer. Her aides said she did not believe the military government, which they pointed out has a history of not honouring its promises. It did not recognise the results of a 1990 national election which Ms Suu Kyi's party won.

After her husband's death, the military government renewed its offer to allow her to travel to Britain for the funeral. But Ms Suu Kyi will not accept the offer, still believing the government will not allow her to return to Burma.

She will hold a Buddhist ceremony for her husband on Friday. (AP)