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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  18 October 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi wants to Tweet

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Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi wants to sign up for a Twitter account once she is released,, her lawyer said Monday.

The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, entered her latest period of detention in May 2003 before the Twitter era started.

Her detention expires on Nov. 13, prompting speculation she will be freed though there has been no such official announcement from the ruling military junta. The country's first election in 20 years will take place days earlier on November 7, timing that analysts say was designed to keep the opposition leader locked away for the polls.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's current wish is to sign up on Twitter when she is released," said her lawyer Nyan Win, who has visited her twice in the past week. "She told me she wants to use Twitter to get in touch with the younger generation inside and outside the country."

"She wishes to be able to tweet every day and keep in touch," he said.

Suu Kyi has no phone line or any access to the Internet, though she has a laptop, Nyan Win said. He described her as computer- and tech-savvy and adept with electronic gadgets.

Under the rules of her detention, Suu Kyi is allowed to read state-controlled newspapers and private local news journals and magazines, to listen to the radio and to watch state-run television but she has no satellite dish to receive foreign broadcasts.

Her lawyers are among the few people allowed to see Suu Kyi, aside from her doctors and occasional visits with U.N. and foreign dignitaries.

According to July statistics from the state-run Post and Telecommunication Ministry, there are 400,000 Internet users in Myanmar, with the vast majority in the former capital Yangon and the second-largest city of Mandalay.

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