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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Suu Kyi has 'major' operation
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has been held in detention since May
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is in a stable condition after undergoing a major operation at a Rangoon hospital on Friday, her personal doctor has said.

"She has regained consciousness and she can talk," Tin Myo Win told reporters outside the Asia Royal Hospital, where the three hour operation took place.

Medical sources told the BBC on Friday that Aung San Suu Kyi had undergone a hysterectomy operation to remove her uterus.

It was not clear how long she would stay in hospital.

Ms Suu Kyi has been detained by the Burmese military government since 30 May, when a pro-democracy rally led to violent clashes between her supporters and a government-backed mob.

International pressure

The 58-year-old opposition leader has only been able to receive a few visitors since her detention, and her condition remains difficult to verify.

The international community has repeatedly asked for her to be freed, with both the United States and the European Union imposing sanctions on Burma in an effort to pressure it into compliance.

The US State Department said on Thursday that Washington "remains very concerned about Aung San Suu Kyi's situation".

But Burma's ruling junta says Aung San Suu Kyi is being held for her own protection, and will only be freed when political tensions cool.

In a speech last month, the newly-appointed Burmese Prime Minister, General Khin Nyunt, raised hopes of a solution, when he set out plans for his seven-point "roadmap to democracy".

He said the government would negotiate with the NLD on plans for a new constitution to enable free and fair elections.

However, he gave no timetable for Aung San Suu Kyi's release, nor any suggestion that the military was ready to give up its hold on power.

Correspondents say that until that happens, there is unlikely to be any easing of the international isolation imposed on Burma.

The BBC's Larry Jagan
"Her doctors say she spent three hours on the operating table and the procedure was a success"

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