Monday, February 2, 2009

Too early to say 'positive', NLD on meeting with UN envoy

By Mungpi

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Burma's detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party – the National League for Democracy – on Monday said their meeting on Monday with visiting United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari cannot be considered a 'positive step' as they need to assess the overall result of his visit.

Nyan Win, the NLD spokesperson, told Mizzima that Aung San Suu Kyi and five NLD CEC members on Monday met Gambari for about an hour at Seinle Kantha Guest House in Rangoon.

"We cannot consider the meeting a positive step, because we need to assess the overall result of the visit," Nyan Win told Mizzima.

Nyan Win said Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD CEC members, during their meeting, reiterated the need to apply more pressure on the government to release all political prisoners, to review the constitution, to recognize the 1990 election result and to convene the parliament based on it.

"The NLD has maintained the four points that we demand but Daw Suu and the five CEC members told him that the release of all political prisoners would be the minimum condition," Nyan Win said.

The NLD leaders, however, said the release of all political prisoners would be the minimum condition that could be called a tangible progress to a question raised by Gambari on what would be the minimum condition for Ban Ki-moon to consider visiting Burma, Nyan Win added.

The world body chief late last year announced that while he would like to consider visiting military-ruled Burma, it will not be possible unless there are signs indicating that there are positive changes, beginning with the release of political prisoners.

On Gambari's question on the 2010 election, the NLD leaders said they do not consider it legitimate and thus do not feel it necessary to discuss it.

"There is no reason for the NLD to talk or discuss the 2010 election," Nyan Win said.

Nyan Win, however, said the NLD considers their separate meeting with detained leader as a positive step, as they could discuss party policies and activities ahead.

"The NLD leaders were able to discuss alone before the meeting with the envoy and that is really good for us because they were able to discuss party matters. But we cannot talk about anything yet," he added.

The meeting on Monday, however, did not include veteran politician and senior party leaders Win Tin and Khin Maung Swe, who were released from prison in September 2008.

According to a source, the Burmese Ministry of Home Affairs categorically asked the NLD not to include Win Tin and Khin Maung Swe among the five CEC that were allowed to meet.

Gambari on Tuesday will be leaving for Naypyitaw, but it is still uncertain whether he can meet junta supremo Snr. Gen Than Shwe, who also did not meet Gambari during his last visit in August.

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