Myanmar rejects meeting with UN, Suu Kyi

Myanmar's junta has rejected a three-way meeting with UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari and detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and refuses to bow to external pressure, state media said Wednesday.

Myanmar rejects meeting with UN, Suu Kyi
The military government also rejected any foreign or UN "interference", Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan told Gambari during a meeting on Tuesday.

Gambari proposed a meeting between himself, Aung San Suu Kyi and labour minister Aung Kyi whom the junta appointed last month to liaise with her.

But Kyaw Hsan said "currently the tripartite meeting will not be possible," according to the New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

It is Gambari's second mission to Myanmar to push for reforms since a bloody junta crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in late September.

Gambari's mission appeared unlikely to bear fruit as the junta accused the United Nations of bowing to US pressure to impose Security Council sanctions following the crackdown.

Kyaw Hsan also said sanctions had not helped and insisted the junta would not be swayed by external pressure.

"I would like to point out that the previous pressures and sanctions did not provide any assistance to our democratisation process, and nor did the new pressures and sanctions of the US and EU," he told Gambari.

"If you wish to see democracy flourishing in Myanmar you should try to persuade other nations to cooperate with us in assisting (us with) the task," Kyaw Hsan said.

"Here, what would we like to say is that we will welcome positive coordination and cooperation for Myanmar affairs, but will never accept any interference that may harm our sovereignty," the paper quoted him as saying.

The UN in a statement noted that "Mr Gambari and his counterparts had very frank and extensive exchanges".

Gambari pushed for the lifting of restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Yangon, and political prisoners, the UN and Kyaw Hsan said.

But the junta stuck to its position that the detained Nobel peace prize winner must first abandon her support for international sanctions if she wishes to see progress towards national reconciliation.

"As the government made efforts in building national reconciliation, it was necessary for the other side to give response to such measure. The minister asked Mr Gambari to explain this point to her," the New Light of Myanmar said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about the lack of progress in Gambari's mission to try to push for democratic reforms.

The pro-democracy protests began in mid-August after a massive hike in the price of everyday fuel, but escalated into the biggest threat to the generals in nearly 20 years when Buddhist monks emerged at the forefront.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Kasım 2007, 14:04