Aung San Suu Kyi found guilty

Burmese democracy leader sentence to a further 18 months house arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy leader, has been sentenced to a further 18 months of detention after she was accused of breaking the terms of her house arrest.

The court in Rangoon's Insein Prison sentenced Suu Kyi to three years hard labour, but it was immediately reduced to a year and a half under house arrest by Senior General Than Shwe, the leader of Burma's military dictatorship.

Suu Kyi, 64, was accused of harbouring John Yettaw, an eccentric American who swam uninvited to her lakeside compound in May. He said he had visited her to tell her about a dream in which he had foreseen her assassination. He received a sentence of seven years hard labour.

The sentence means that Suu Kyi will be unable to run in the elections which the Burmese junta has promised to hold next year. Her National League for Democracy won an overwhelming majority in the last election in 1990, a result which the junta never accepted.

The Burmese government has been on the receiving end of international criticism since Suu Kyi's arrest in May. Even neighbouring south-east Asian countries, who tend to avoid comment on internal affairs, have voiced criticism.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary-general, visited the junta's capital, Naypidaw, last month, and asked for the release of Suu Kyi. He was not even allowed to meet her.