UN envoy presses for Suu Kyi release

UN special envoy to Myanmar, Razali Ismail, met Indonesia’s foreign minister on Saturday to discuss what steps to take next to secure the release of detained Myanmar pro-West leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a government official said.

    Suu Kyi's detention has led to
    massive pressure on Myanmar

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Marty Natalegawa, said Ismail’s meeting was to follow up on last week’s gathering of the foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).


    The 10-nation ASEAN gathering criticized one of its own members, urging Myanmar to release Suu Kyi.


    Indonesia is ASEAN’s new chair.


    Natalegawa said the meeting between Ismail and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda was held at the request of the UN envoy.


    Ismail’s main preoccupation was the fate of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to the ministry’s spokesman.


    The meeting “indicates how urgent we wish for progress on her release”, he said.


    Suu Kyi is a Nobel peace laureate.


    Media critical


    Meanwhile, state-run media in Myanmar said on Saturday that Suu Kyi’s detention was an internal matter.


    The media criticised Western diplomats, who had requested to visit the detained political leader. 


    The commentaries in two newspapers were the first reaction in the Myanmar media to mounting pressure over Suu Kyi’s detention on 30 May.


    Her detention followed a clash between followers of her National League for Democracy (NLD) Party and a pro-government group.


    “The matters concerning NLD (and) Suu Kyi … are domestic affairs of Myanmar,” one commentary said.


    “In Western nations too, lawbreakers are arrested and actions are taken against them,” it added.


    Pressure on Myanmar has intensified, with Japan threatening to cut off aid and the European Union and the United States planning harsher sanctions. 


    Myanmar’s military rulers say Suu Kyi is under “protective custody” and will be released soon, without saying when.


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