Monday, August 3, 2009

Ban reiterates appeal to release Aung San Suu Kyi

by Mungpi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – In yet another impassioned appeal, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated to the military rulers of Burma to address the concerns of the international community by ensuring the immediate release of detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

At a meeting with the Burmese Ambassador to the UN Than Swe on Thursday, Ban repeated the international community’s expectation that the Burmese regime “will give careful consideration to the implications of any verdict in the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and exercise its responsibility to ensure her immediate release,” his spokesperson told reporters on Friday.

Farhan Haq, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said “The Secretary-General also reiterated the international community’s high expectations that the Government of Myanmar [Burma] will act in Myanmar’s [Burma’s] interest by taking timely and positive steps in following-up the specific proposals, which he made, during his recent visit to Myanmar[Burma], starting with the release of all political prisoners.

The meeting between the Burmese Ambassador and the UN chief took place a day before the special court in Insein prison was scheduled to pronounce the verdict on the trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been charged with violating her terms of detention and could face up to five years in prison, if the court holds her guilty.

However, following the meeting, the Burmese Ambassador Than Swe informed the UN that his government had postponed the pronouncement of the verdict to August 11, Haq said.

On Friday, the court in Insein prison in Rangoon postponed delivering the verdict on Aung San Suu Kyi and other defendants charged along with her over the incident in early May when an uninvited American man swam across a lake and intruded into the Burmese democracy icon’s lakeside home.

Observers, who have alleged that the trial is trumped up for a fresh sentence of the opposition leader to another prison term, believe that the court postponed the verdict on Friday as it wants to divert attention and ease pressure building up over the trial.

The UN chief in early July paid a second visit to Burma to persuade the military rulers to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners languishing in jails across the country. However, he left Burma deeply disappointed as the military supremo Snr. Gen Than Shwe refused him a meeting with the detained opposition leader.

Saturday 1st August, 2009

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