Suu Kyi wins right to mend roof

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The Independent Online

In a small but significant legal victory, detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has won the right to repair the crumbling house in which she is held – overcoming opposition from her brother.

Ms Suu Kyi has been detained in her family home on Rangoon's University Avenue since 2003 and has longed wanted to renovate the crumbling roof. But her brother, Aung San Oo, who lives in the US, successfully applied for a court order to block the work, claiming that half the house belonged to him. Many observers believe that her brother has been used by the junta to try to undermine Ms Suu Kyi and that his wife's family received special privileges in exchange. The democracy leader has lived in the house since 1988 when she returned to Burma from London to care for her ailing mother.

The Mizzima News website reported that the Rangoon City Development Committee issued a written order last week giving permission to the 64-year-old Nobel laureate to repair the house, the roof of which was badly damaged in 2008 by the storms of Cyclone Nargis.

"We informed the security officials that work has started again," said her lawyer, Nyan Win. Ms Suu Kyi's term of house arrest was extended last year after an uninvited American guest swam to her lakeside home, allegedly breaching the terms of her house arrest.