Gambari meets Aung San Suu Kyi

UN envoy holds talks with detained leader during his second visit to Myanmar.

    Gambari was allowed to meet Suu Kyi twice on his previous trip last month [UNIC Yangon]
    On Wednesday, Gambari met senior generals, including Thein Sein, Myanmar's prime minister, in Naypyidaw.
     
    Request rejected
     
    However, the envoy has not been able to meet Than Shwe, who is Myanmar's most senior leader. The military government has also rejected suggestions for a tripartite meeting involving Suu Kyi, a government member and Gambari.
    On Wednesday, state media reported the government had rejected Gambari's request for the three-way talks.
     

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    Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan, the information minister, told Gambari that Myanmar's generals would not support outside "interference".
     
    Kyaw Hsan said "currently the tripartite meeting will not be possible", the New Light of Myanmar daily reported on Wednesday.
     
    Gambari's second visit to Myanmar in a month is an attempt to pressure Myanmar's military government to adopt democratic reforms.

     

    The government violently put down widespread pro-democracy protests in September, which were led by Buddhist monks.

     

    The UN said in a statement late on Wednesday that Gambari gave Thein Sein a letter from Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, to pass on to Than Shwe.

    Government unmoved

    In comments published in the New Light of Myanmar, Kyaw Hsan said the government would not be pressed into making democratic reforms.

    "If you wish to see democracy flourishing in Myanmar, you should try to persuade other nations to co-operate with us in assisting [us with] the task," he said.

    "Here, what we would like to say is that we will welcome positive co-ordination and co-operation for Myanmar affairs, but will never accept any interference that may harm our sovereignty."

    Buddhist monks led popular pro-democracy
    protests in Myanmar in September [AFP]

    State media has indicated the government is only willing to adopt its own seven-stage "road map to democracy".

    The plan has been criticised by Western governments as a method to keep the military generals in power.

    Gambari appealed on Wednesday for restrictions on  Suu Kyi and all political prisoners to end, the UN and Kyaw Hsan said.

    However, Myanmar's rulers say that Suu Kyi must first abandon her support for international sanctions against the government.

    Suu Kyi led the NLD to victory in a general election in 1990, but Myanmar's generals have not allowed her party to take office.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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