UN envoy meets Suu Kyi

United Nations envoy to Myanmar Razali Ismail met detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday and said he received assurances from military leaders she would be freed soon.

Suu Kyi has spent much of the
past 14 years under house arrest

Razali said Suu Kki was “in good spirits” and had not been injured in recent violence.

International concern had mounted over the health and whereabouts of the Nobel peace prize winner after violence broke out on 30 May while she was touring a provincial town.

She has been in detention since then.

A source close to the military government said the envoy and the leader talked for half an hour at an official “guesthouse” in Yangon.

“I have been given clear assurances by both Secretary One (the Junta’s leader, Khin Nyun) and Maung Aye that they will lift the protective custody on her as soon as possible,” said Razali.

Speaking to reporters at Yangon airport, the envoy said she was not injured. Razali, who brokered landmark talks between the military government and the opposition leader in October 2000, said he would also attempt to revive the peace process which was stalled last year.

“We have to work for national reconciliation to be back on track,” he said.

Diplomatic pressure has increased on the Myanmar government in recent days, with the United States, Britain and the European Union (EU) saying they are considering more trade and investment sanctions because of Suu Kyi’s treatment.

Suu Kyi has spent much of the past 14 years under house arrest and was last released in May 2002.

The 57-year-old became an international icon when she was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, during her first spell of house arrest from 1989 to 1995.

Razali was given assurances Suu
Kyi would be released soon

Myanmar’s military Junta has kept her in undisclosed locations and confined leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) to their houses.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for Suu Kyi’s immediate release and urged the government to resume dialogue on national reconciliation.

Recent Violence

Dissidents in exile had said members of a pro-government group, which had been following Suu Kyi’s convoy in four trucks, beat to death as many as 75 members of her entourage and villagers with bamboo and iron bars.

They said Suu Kyi received head and shoulder injuries although her car sped off soon after the violence erupted. 

The government has said four people were killed and 50 were injured, blaming what they described as the NLD’s “course of confrontation”.

The US claims Suu Kyi was the victim of a “pre-meditated ambush”. 

The NLD swept to a landslide election victory in 1990, but was never allowed to rule by the military which has been in power since a 1962 coup.

Razali was instrumental in bringing the two sides together for “confidence building”  talks, in late 2000, which led to Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest.

Diplomats said events in the last two weeks had mired Razali’s work to encourage fresh talks on political change.

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