16 Nov 2009

Obama urges Myanmar ruler to release Suu Kyi

6:35 am on 16 November 2009

US President Barack Obama has urged Myanmar's military ruler to free pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr Obama made the plea as he met leaders of the ASEAN grouping of south-east Asian nations in Singapore, the BBC reports.

A White House official says Mr Obama raised the issue "directly" with General Thein Sein.

Ms Suu Kyi's house arrest was extended by 18 months in August this year after an uninvited American man stayed at her home without official permission.

The pro-democracy leader says John Yettaw was uninvited but failed to convince Myanmar's leaders.

Ms Suu Kyi has spent 14 years under house arrest in the past two decades.