Junta Renews Suu Kyi's House Arrest

YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar's junta extended the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday, a home ministry source said, a move likely to dismay Western nations who promised millions of dollars in aid after Cyclone Nargis.

The source, who asked not to be named, said a government official drove to Suu Kyi's lakeside Yangon villa to read out the extension order in person. The source said it was for six months, although a Yangon-based diplomat said it was for a year.

The 62-year-old Nobel laureate, whose National League for Democracy party won a 1990 election landslide only to be denied power by the army, has now spent nearly 13 of the last 18 years under some form of arrest.

Although few expected Suu Kyi to be released, the extension is a timely reminder of the ruling military's refusal to make any concessions on the domestic front, despite its grudging acceptance of foreign help after the May 2 cyclone.

Army-controlled media on Tuesday praised the United Nations for the help it has given to the 2.4 million people left destitute in the Irrawaddy delta, suggesting a thaw in the junta's frosty relationship with the outside world.

Three weeks after the cyclone devastated the delta, the UN says fewer than one in three of those most in need have received any aid.

Much of the blame for the aid delay rests with the junta, which has been reluctant to admit a large-scale international relief effort for fear of loosing its grip on power.