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Military-ruled Myanmar on Thursday accused detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of tax evasion for asking her family to spend money she received outside of Myanmar.

The official new light of Myanmar newspaper also accused the Nobel peace laureate of accepting money from foreign spies, and insisted that she was not a political prisoner.

The rebuke came less than a week after the veto of a US-led United Nations Security Council resolution urging democratic reform and the release of political prisoners here.

“She avoided paying taxes to the state by asking her family members abroad to spend all her cash awards provided by international organisations and honorariums presented for her works she had created abroad, instead of spending the money in the country,” the paper said.
Suu Kyi was married to a British academic, Michael Aris, who died of cancer in Britain in 1999. Her two grown sons live abroad.

The junta took power in 1988 after crushing the democracy movement led by Suu Kyi. In 1990, it refused to hand over power when Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide election victory.
She has been given nearly 100 awards and honorary titles for her nonviolent efforts to achieve democracy. Among them were the 1991 Nobel Peace prize, for which she was awarded 6 million Swedish kronor, currently equivalent to about $856,000.

The newspaper also said that the junta has treated Suu Kyi leniently by putting her under house arrest and not sending her to prison.

“It was very considerate of the government to put only restrictions on her, instead of punishing her in accordance with (the) law,” the paper said.

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