He said those proposals included the release of the more than 2,000 political prisoners ahead of next year's election, opening of real dialogue between the government and opposition, and creating conditions conducive to free and fair elections.   

It was not immediately known if Than Shwe agreed to the proposals put forward by Ban.

'Missed opportunity'

Ban himself had described his current second visit to Myanmar as a "very tough mission" and made clear he was not expecting radical changes overnight in a country that has been ruled by a military junta for 47 years.

In depth


 Profile: Suu Kyi's uninvited guest
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 Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi

"It is a setback for the international community and it is a missed opportunity for the Myanmar authorities," Ban said after his request to meet Aung San Suu Kyi was turned down.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spearheaded the campaign for democracy for two decades in the former Burma, is currently on trial for breaching terms of her house arrest by allowing an American intruder to stay at her home on May 4.   

Critics have dismissed her hearing as a show trial and an attempt by the generals to keep her out of multi-party elections to be held next year.   

Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court on Friday but the trial was adjourned for a week because the judges had not received an earlier judgment barring two defence witnesses, her National League for Democracy said.