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Myanmar's Suu Kyi "well" after refusing food

A protestor holds a photo of imprisoned human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest outside the Thai embassy in Makati's financial district of Manila August 8, 2008. REUTERS/John Javellana

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is well but has lost some weight, her lawyer said on Monday, following reports that she had refused new food supplies since August 15.

The 63-year-old Nobel laureate did not say whether or not she was on a hunger strike, Kyi Win said after being allowed to see his client at the Yangon home where she has been under house arrest for five years.

“I am well, but I have lost some weight. I am a little tired and I need to rest,” Kyi Win quoted her saying during their 30-minute meeting.

Kyi Win declined to speculate about Suu Kyi’s motives, but diplomats guessed her refusal to accept food may have reflected anger at not being able to meet her lawyer.

Kyi Win is working on a appeal of the latest extension of Suu Kyi’s detention order. She has been in prison or under house arrest for nearly 13 of the past 19 years.

The exiled arm of her National League for Democracy, the party that won a 1990 election landslide only to be denied power by the military, said the last delivery of food accepted by Suu Kyi’s housekeeper was on August 15.

It is not the first time her diet has made headlines.

In September 2003, the U.S. government reported she had gone on a hunger strike, although the Myanmar government and the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was untrue.

Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Writing by Darren Schuettler; Editing by Ed Cropley and David Fox