More than four dozen former heads of state, including three former U.S. presidents, required that the military regime in Mayanmar release Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.
Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, has been in and out of detention, mostly house arrest, since 1990, when her pro-democracy movement won a landslide election. The military junta that seized power in 1998 has refuse to recognize the election result, and crushed the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar, also called Burma.
In a letter to the military dictatorship's top leader, Senior General Than Shwe, the 59 former leaders urged the release of Suu Kyi when her latest term of house arrest ends on May 27. U.N. Secretary General has also demanded her release.
"Suu Kyi is not calling for revolution in Burma, but rather peaceful, nonviolent dialogue between the military, National League for Democracy, and Burmas ethnic groups," said the letter, coordinated by former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik's Oslo Peace Center.
The letter also pointed out that the United Nations, the European Union and many countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan, have also demanded Suu Kyi's release.
Those signing the letter included Bondevik, former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush - father of the current president - Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton; former British Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, and former Canadian Prime Minister Martin Brian Mulroney.