International briefs: Myanmar

MYANMAR'S pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday she saw no reason for Western countries to lift sanctions against the military-dominated government, but called for the issue to be discussed.

Ruled by the military since a 1962 coup, Myanmar held its first elections in two decades last year and authorities later released Suu Kyi from house arrest. But the military shows no sign of loosening its grip.

Suu Kyi's political party said it supported Western sanctions but wanted talks on whether to modify them, signalling a willingness to discuss a more flexible approach. "Whether or not to lift the sanctions is something to be decided after discussions," she said. "At the present, I don't see any reason to lift the sanctions."

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, which won the previous election in 1990 but was never allowed to govern, was officially disbanded for refusing to take part in last November's polls.