Friday, May 22, 2009

Ban Ki-moon must ensure Suu Kyi's freedom: Analysts

by Salai Pi Pi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – If UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon is to visit military-ruled Burma in the near future, the release of Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi should be mandatory, a Burmese analyst in exile said.

“If he is to visit Burma, he should try to ensure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi during his stay in the country,” Nyo Ohn Myint, in-charge of the National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) in exile, told Mizzima on Friday.

“He should not return until the junta releases her,” Nyo Ohn Myint said.

He said that Ban should also try to build mutual trust between Aung San Suu Kyi and Than Shwe, the Burmese junta supremo.

“He should also try to build trust between Aung San Suu Kyi and the Junta as is necessary,” Nyo Ohn Myint said.

“He also needs to make sure that Aung San Suu Kyi will not be a threat for them [military generals] as you know, they are so afraid of her,” he continued.

Nyo Ohn Myint’s comment came after Ban told CNN that he would go to Burma as soon as possible, to push the Burmese regime to free detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in the country.

“I am deeply concerned about what has been happening in Myanmar, in terms of democratization and I am going to urge for the release of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, again,” CNN quoted Ban Ki-moon as saying.

He also said that the imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi was “unacceptable.”

Noble Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was put on trial as she was accused of harbouring US citizen, John William Yettaw, who swam to her lakeside home on May 3, and stayed there for two nights.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent over 13 of her 19 years in Burma, under house arrest. Her detention term will expire on 27 May 2009.

The Burmese regime charged Aung San Suu Kyi with violating the terms of detention and accepting Yettaw and providing him with food. If she is convicted, she is likely to face up to five years in prison.

Along with Aung San Suu Kyi, her two house maids and Yettaw have also been arrested and put on trial.

The close-door trial against Suu Kyi entered the fifth day on Friday, in the premises of Burma’s notorious Insein prison. The junta did not allow foreign diplomats and journalists to access the court on Wednesday.

Although Ban is preparing to fly to Burma on a mission to rescue Aung San Suu Kyi, it is still not clear whether the regime will allow him to enter the country.

Meanwhile, speaking to Mizzima, another Burmese political analyst Aung Naing Oo, asked that if the junta was willing to permit the UN General Secretary his proposed visit to Burma, what sort of problems would he be able to address to usher in change in Burma.

“If the junta allows him to go there, I would like to ask him what he can do for change in Burma?” Aung Naing Oo said. “I would like to ask if he can do anything for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi?” he added.

Aung Naing Oo said it is very premature to say that Ban will be able to press the military government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and also to usher in political change in Burma. His last visit to Burma, last year had made the junta relax the restriction on foreign aid workers in the Cyclone Nargis hit delta region.

“It is too early to say that though he plans to press the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi, whether the regime will listen to what he asks them to do, like they lifted the restriction on humanitarian aid during his visit last year,” he said.

However, Aung Naing Oo said, “This is the right time for him to visit Burma”.

Earlier, the UN General Secretary’s spokesperson had said Ban would not visit Burma again, if there was no political progress in Burma.

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