Vienna, 19 June 2005 Press release

Plassnik appeals to government of Burma/Myanmar to release political prisoners


On the occasion of Aung San Suu Kyi's 60th birthday

Vienna, 19 June 2005 - To mark the 60th birthday of the Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still under house arrest, the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik called for the release of all political prisoners in Burma/Myanmar: "Austria is adding her voice to the worldwide call addressed to the military government of Myanmar for the immediate release of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and the other political prisoners."

"Aung San Suu Kyi is an extraordinary example of courage and stamina, a woman who even in a truly difficult situation thinks beyond the boundaries of her plight and repeatedly gives us encouragement. Her strength and her steadfastness are gifts to us all", said Plassnik on Sunday, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's birthday.

"Austria and the European Union urgently advocate national reconciliation as well as democracy and respect for human rights in Myanmar. These goals can only be achieved through peaceful dialogue. I therefore appeal to the government to enter into an honest dialogue with the democratic forces and ethnic minorities in Myanmar in order to resolve the country's political and social problems", emphasized the Foreign Minister.