UN will press Burma over Suu Kyi
Bangkok Post, 21 Feb 08
New York (dpa) – The United Nations Wednesday said constitutional reforms will be the subject of a new round of talks between its envoy Ibrahim Gambari and Burmese military leaders, after opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was barred from running in upcoming elections.
Gambari, who was visiting Southeast Asia, has planned to visit Rangoon for the third time since last September, though it is unknown exactly when he will make the trip.
The visit has become more urgent after a draft constitution issued by the military junta said Suu Kyi would not be able to run in 2010 elections because she was married to a Briton, who died in 1999.
“We believe that the credibility of the political process (in Burma) is going to depend on whether it is inclusive enough so that all can participate,” UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.
The constitutional process will be “on top on the agenda of special envoy Gambari when he has the chance to visit Myanmar and have direct discussions with authorities and all the relevant parties to the process, including Suu Kyi. We hope that happens soon,” Okabe said.
Myanmar is the name the junta uses for Burma.
Suu Kyi is leader of the National League for Democracy, which won a landslide victory in the presidential elections in 1990. The military junta rejected the elections and put her under house arrest.
The UN has been calling on Burma to launch democratic reforms and release all political prisoners.
Gambari, who visited Beijing Tuesday, called on the Chinese government to send the “right signals” to demand cooperation from the ruling military junta.
He then travelled to Singapore and planned to visit Jakarta and Japan for the purpose of canvassing support for democratic changes in Burma.