WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The United States is concerned about the safety and security of Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader in military-ruled Myanmar, the State Department said.
"Within the last few days, there was a veiled threat suggesting that if Aung San Suu Kyi proceeds with her plans to reconstitute (her National League for Democracy party) that she could be in some danger," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said during his media briefing.
Suu Kyi's NLD party was dissolved after it boycotted the elections in November, which were widely criticized as a sham designed to keep the military rulers in power. Myanmar, formerly called Burma, has been under military rule since 1962 and in the November elections supporters of the junta won about 80 percent of the votes.
Crowley said the United States remains "concerned about Aung San Suu Kyi's safety and security," adding it is the responsibility of Myanmar's authorities "to ensure her safety and that of all Burmese citizens."
He said Myanmar needs to "recognize the legitimacy of the National League for Democracy, which has struggled for over 22 years to bring democracy to Burma's people."
He said the junta "should immediately release all political prisoners, allow their participation in the political process, and begin a genuine and inclusive political dialogue with ethnic and democratic opposition leaders as a first step towards national reconciliation."
Suu Kyi had been held under arrest for years before being released a day after the election. Crowley said "there have been times where she has been released and then they found a way to bring her again under house arrest."