Tue 30 Jun 2009
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon was urged on Tuesday by the National League for Democracy to meet detained party leader Aung San Suu Kyi during his proposed two-day visit to Burma from July 3 to 4. Nyan Win, NLD spokesperson said his party welcomed Ban’s visit but would like to urge him to persuade the Burmese junta for a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi in order to make his trip fruitful.
“As he will be coming here on a political matter relating to Burma, he should meet NLD’s General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi. Only after he meets her, can we say his visit has been fruitful,” Nyan Win said.
The UN chief, currently on a tour of Japan, will be on a two-day visit to Burma in an attempt to address the political imbroglio in the country and to free Aung San Suu Kyi, said Michele Montas, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson on Monday.
“Ban looks forward to returning to Myanmar [Burma] to address the senior leadership directly on a broad range of issues, including longstanding concerns to the United Nations and to the international community,” said Montas.
She added that Ban during his visit will try to resolve the issues of political prisoners, the resumption of dialogue between the government and the opposition, to achieve national reconciliation, and set the stage for credible elections slated for 2010.
“We also agree that the three objectives of Ban are the most important things to address regarding Burma’s political problems,” Nyan Win said. “But it is impossible to gauge if Ban will be able to solve the problems before he winds up his trip.
The announcement on Ban’s trip came following his special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s return from a visit last weekend to Burma’s new jungle capital Naypyitaw, where he met junta’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nyan Win.
Meanwhile, the Burma Campaign UK, a group advocating democracy and human rights in Burma, on Monday urged Ban to use his visit to deliver concrete results whether or not the regime responds positively to diplomatic pressure.
“We have had 20 years of UN envoys going back and forth to Burma and nothing to show for it. We need Ban Ki-moon to personally take the lead, but he must deliver practical results, such as the release of all political prisoners,” said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator of Burma Campaign UK.
“Talking to the generals is a means to an end, but so far the UN seems to treat talks alone as a success. Ban Ki-moon must deliver the strongest possible message to Than Shwe that they can no longer defy the Security Council,” she added.
The timing of Ban’s visit coincides with Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial which will resume on July 3.
Aung San Suu Kyi is currently on trial for flouting the terms of her house arrest after an uninvited American man, John William Yettaw, swam to her lakeside residence and stayed there for two nights in early May.
Montas added, Ban will also discuss the joint humanitarian effort following his visit to Burma in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis on May 2 and 3, 2008, which left at least 140,000 dead or missing and devastated the lives of more than 2.4 million people rendered homeless with lack of food.