U N envoy "very satisfied" with Myanmar visit

Published: Sunday, November 12, 2006, 21:27 [IST]
 

YANGON, November 12, 2006 (Reuters) UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari said today he was ''very satisfied'' with his rare visit to military-ruled Myanmar during which he saw detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But he gave no details of what the United Nations said in a statement were ''frank and extensive'' talks with junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe.

Nor did he say when he might return to Myanmar, a country under scrutiny by the U N Security Council, which held its first official session on what the United States calls an ''outpost of tyranny'' in September.

''I'm very satisfied,'' Gambari told reporters before leaving at the end of a four-day visit.

''I don't know,'' he replied when asked when he might return, ''since the subject of discussion depends on a number of factors''.

Gambari had brought a message from U N Secretary-General Koffi Annan appealing for the release of political prisoners, especially Suu Kyi, a U N official said. He did not say what the reaction from the junta was.

The U N said Gambari had pressed for better access for humanitarian aid and an ''all inclusive and transparent'' roadmap to democracy as well as the release of political prisoners,.

''Mr Gambari stressed that there can be no development without peace, no durable peace without sustainable development and neither peace nor development without democratisation and respect for human rights,'' it said.

Chief among the political prisoners is Suu Kyi, head of the National League of Democracy which won elections in 1990 only for the military, which has ruled the former Burma since 1962 in one form or another, to ignore the result.

She has been under some form of detention for more than 10 of the last 17 years and Gambari was the first outsider to meet the Nobel peace laureate in two years when he visited in May.

She has seen few, if any, since then, confined to her lakeside villa in Yangon without a telephone and requiring permission from the military to receive visitors.

Yesterday, as he did on his first visit, Gambari saw her at a government guesthouse in Yangon and the U N said she asked for more regular visits by her doctor.

But she was happy the United Nations was getting involved in Myanmar, where some of the longest guerrilla wars of the modern age are still being fought, a U N statement said.

''She welcomes continued engagement by the United Nations in hopes that it can be of help in addressing the many issues that have been raised by Gambari during his visit,'' it added.

REUTERS AKJ MIR KP1537

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