Burma Shuts HIV/AIDS Shelter After Suu Kyi Visit

One day after it was visited by newly freed democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a shelter housing HIV/AIDS patients was shut down by Burmese authorities. More than 600 people were on hand to cheer Wednesday's visit by Suu Kyi, who promised to help the facility's patients access medications. Burma's military rulers responded by refusing to renew the group home's permit, ordering all the patients to leave or face legal action. "I think authorities want to pressure us because of [Suu Kyi's] visit to the shelter," said Zeyar, one of the center's organizers. He said officials had offered to move the 82 patients to a government-run HIV facility. "The patients have the right to make their own choice," Zeyar said. "The pressure by local authorities has made our patients very sad, which will adversely affect their health." Burma's military junta detained Suu Kyi for 15 of the last 21 years, freeing her only last weekend. Suu Kyi's work to promote democracy in Burma earned her the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.