Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

It’s official: Suu Kyi banned

leave a comment »

Bangkok Post, 8 March 2008

It’s official: Suu Kyi banned

Rangoon – United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Saturday, after the military junta make it clear they would not allow her to contest polls scheduled for 2010.

Gambari arrived on Thursday on a mission to persuade the ruling regime to include Suu Kyi more in the reconciliation process.

He conferred with members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which Suu Kyi heads, at the Sein Le Kan Tha State Guest House Saturday morning, and later with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the same venue.

The contents of the talks were not immediately known, but Burmese leaders had earlier made clear to Gambari that they will not allow Suu Kyi to contest a general election planned in 2010 – allegedly because she was once married to a foreigner, a gigantic no-no in the eyes of the dictators.

The NLD, led by Suu Kyi, won the 1990 polls but has been denied power for the past 18 years.

According to state media reports, Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan told Gambari on Friday that it had rejected a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the regime amend the new constitution to “ensure inclusiveness.”

“The constitution has already been drafted and it should not be amended again,” Kyaw Hsan said.

In a letter dated February 19 to Burma‘s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the UN Secretary General called for an amendment to the current draft constitution that would drop a clause excluding all Burmese nationals married to foreigners from running for election.

Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest since May 2003, was married to the late Michael Aris, a British professor at Oxford University.

The new constitution, drafted by a military-appointed forum, will be voted on in a referendum in May.

It is widely expected that the constitution will be approved by the referendum, especially since almost everyone in Burma expects manipulation by the regime.

The referendum is part of the dictatorship’s so-called “seven-step road map” to democracy, which will culminate in a general election now scheduled in 2010.

Critics have faulted the constitution-drafting process for failing to include input from the NLD and other opponents to the regime, leading the UN to call the document a “sham.”

Kyaw Hsan accused the UN of being biased against the regime, which last September cracked down on anti-military protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 31 people dead.

The information minister noted that the world community has not objected to Thailand‘s new constitution, passed last year, despite the lack of participation by Thai opposition parties in the drafting process. He pointed out that al-Qaeda was not allowed to take part in drafting the Iraq or Afghanistan constitutions.

“We haven’t heard any objection to these events by those persons and organisations who are objecting to us,” Kyaw Hsan said. “It is not fair. The United Nations should stand fair and square without bias.”

He also criticised Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, for rejecting the regime’s request that she openly oppose Western sanctions on Burma as a precondition for holding talks with her.

“Although we have opened the door for (a) ‘win-win’ situation, (the) NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are refusing to join hands,” Kyaw Hsan said.

He urged the visiting envoy to support the junta’s “seven step” road map and stop pursuing alternatives suggested by western democracies.

“We shall not accept any attempt to hinder or reverse the process of the seven-step road map. However, we will heartily welcome the positive suggestions of the UN to help implement the seven-step road map,” Kyaw Hsan concluded.

Gambari reportedly promised to pass on the minister’s “clarification” to the UN Secretary General. (dpa)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Earlier report

Rangoon – The Burmese junta informed visiting United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari they will not amend a draft constitution to allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to contest the planned 2010 polls. On Saturday, Mr Gambari met Mrs Suu Kyi, without result.

Reports from official media on Saturday said the the military regime turned down a request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that the regime amend the new constitution to “ensure inclusiveness.”

Information Minister Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan gave Gambari a long lecture on Friday, which was printed in all state-controlled media.

“The Constitution has already been drafted and it should not be amended again,” Kyaw Hsan said.

Gambari met with the Nobel peace prize laureate and other executives in her National League for Democracy (NLD) party at the Sein Le Kan Tha State Guest House for about 90 minutes.

The content of their discussion was not immediately known, but it did nothing to change the minds of the military dictators and allow her to contest a general election planned in 2010.

In a letter dated February 19 to Burma’s military supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the UN secretary general called for an amendment to the current draft constitution that would drop a clause excluding all Burmese nationals married to foreigners from running for election.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize laureate who has been under house arrest since May, 2003, was married to the late Michael Aris, a British professor at Oxford University.

The new constitution, drafted by a military-appointed forum, will be voted on in a referendum in May, this year.

It is widely expected that the constitution will be approved by the referendum, which is expected to be manipulated.

The referendum is part of the regime’s so-called “seven-step road map” to democracy that will culminate in a general election now scheduled in 2010.

Critics have faulted the constitution-drafting process for failing to include input from the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Suu Kyi and other opponents to the regime, leading the UN to call the document a “sham.”

Kyaw Hsan faulted the UN for being biased against the regime, which only last September cracked down on anti-military protests led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 31 people led.

The information minister noted that the world community has not objected to Thailand‘s new constitution, passed last year, despite the lack of participation by Thai opposition parties in the drafting process, nor the recent constitutions passed in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the lack of participation by their opponents, including Moslem militants with al-Qaeda links and the Taliban, respectively.

“We haven’t heard any objection to these events by those persons and organisations who are objecting to us,” said Kyaw Hsan. “It is not fair. The United Nations should stand fair and square without bias.

He also criticised Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, for turning down the regime’s request that she openly oppose western sanctions on Burma as a precondition for holding talks with her.

“Although we have opened the door for ‘win-win’ situation, NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are refusing to join hands,” Kyaw Hsan said.

He urged the visiting envoy to support the junta’s “seven step” road map and stop pursuing alternatives suggested by western democracies.

“We shall not accept any attempt to hinder or reverse the process of the seven-step Road Map. However, we will heartily welcome the positive suggestions of the UN to help implement the seven-step Road Map,” Kyaw Hsan concluded.

Gambari reportedly promised to onpass the minister’s “clarification” to the UN the Secretary-General.

Gambari, who arrived in Rangoon on Thursday, was scheduled to meet with NLD members Saturday morning. It is anticipated that he will soon hold talks with Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest in her Rangoon home for almost four years. (dpa)

http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=126382

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

March 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: