Written by U Ne Oo on 2003-09-08

Regarding with US claims vs Junta's counter claims that DASSK is on hunger strike, we will need confirmation whether the ICRC has made an official comment on this matter. At a first glance, this comment by ICRC is "NOT ENOUGH" and "INAPPROPRIATE". Firstly, the statement doesn't have enough credibility because the ICRC representative was casually commenting on a statement made by the junta. Secondly, it will be inappropriate for the International Committee of Red Cross to be seen commenting in support of one side's statement. Unless we receive an independent public statement made by ICRC about this particular prisoner of conscience, we must continue to assume this has been junta's falsified statement on the situation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Note here: Burmese junta is notorious in making falsified statement. So too is the US side (I should say our side -this time) which we've seen horrible spin-doctoring on Iraq leading up to removal of Saddam Hussein. It is about time the opposition movement in exile seek clarification from ICRC about this matter.

Regards, U Ne Oo.

A Note of concern to the International Committee of the Red Cross(pdf)

Herald Sun, Sat Sep 6 21:23:00 UTC+0900 2003

Suu Kyi 'not on hunger strike'

From correspondents in Rangoon

06sep03: THE International Committee of the Red Cross paid a visit to detained Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today and found she was not on a hunger strike, the Burma junta and ICRC said.

"This afternoon the ICRC paid a visit to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to deliver family messages. According to the ICRC they found her well and also that she was not on a hunger strike as alleged by some quarters," the junta said in a statement. The United States alleged last week that the Nobel peace laureate had launched a hunger strike to protest her three-month detention by the junta and repeated its accusations in the face of the junta's fierce denials. ICRC communications delegate Jean-Pascal Moret confirmed the junta's statement was accurate.

"Two persons visited her and the visit lasted for about an hour," he said. "We completely agree with the press release and we cannot elaborate more." Analysts had said the objective of Washington's claims may have been to allow independent observers access to Aung San Suu Kyi to prove she remained in good health. ICRC representatives were the last to see the leader, being held incommunicado at a secret location, on July 28.

The United States, which refused to divulge the source of its information, challenged the junta on Thursday to disprove its claim that the democracy icon was not on hunger strike by releasing her.

Burma had insisted Aung San Suu Kyi was physically well and accused the US of spin- doctoring. "The sudden but well-concerted appearance of a manufactured piece of news relating to Aung San Suu Kyi's hunger strike is another glaring example of spin doctors at work once again," one of their statements said. Thailand had also said on the basis of its intelligence reports it did not believe Aung San Suu Kyi was refusing food.

Ms Suu Kyi was detained following bloody clashes between her supporters and a junta- backed mob in northern Burma on May 30.

US Spin doctoring and Letter to the Red Cross