Protests at Burmese curbs

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Britain and France yesterday urged Burma's military government to allow Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader, free movement.

"We are concerned Aung San Suu Kyi has experienced difficulty moving freely outside her compound," the Foreign Office spokesman said. "We urge the State Law and Order Restoration Council to remove road-blocks at University Avenue immediately and to allow free access to and from Aung San Suu Kyi's compound."

The Foreign Office also urged the government to release Kyi Maung, the vice chairman of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, "immediately and unconditionally".

"We hope for the immediate release of Kyi Maung ... as of all those jailed for their opinions," French Foreign Ministry spokes-man, Jacques Rummelhardt, said. Burmese authorities acknowledged he was detained last Wednesday for questioning about a student protest, but said he would be released soon. A senior military officer denied that Ms Suu Kyi's movements had been restricted, though he conceded that a guard placed permanently at the Nobel Peace Prize winner's home had advised her not to leave last Tuesday night, duringthe student protest.

The officer contended that in any case, Suu Kyi had not tried to leave. With her phone out of order and barricades still erected on streets to her home, the account was impossible to confirm.

The capital, Rangoon, was calm yesterday following a night of heavy security patrols near university campuses. The US and Amnesty International have called for the release of Mr Maung, 75. Amnesty said Mr Maung had done nothing more than call for peaceful change.