The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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UN envoy fails to win freedom for Suu Kyi

Yangon, Oct. 3 (Reuters): UN envoy Razali Ismail not only failed to persuade Myanmar’s ruling generals to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi but got no assurance her party would be part of their “road map” to democracy, diplomats said today.

The diplomats, briefed by Razali before he left Yangon after a three-day visit yesterday, said neither top military leader Than Shwe nor new Prime Minister Khin Nyunt appeared to have given any ground.

Khin Nyunt would not say whether Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) would be allowed to take part in a revived national convention aimed at producing a democratic constitution which is one element of the road map, they said. “Khin Nyunt told him it was too early to discuss NLD participation in the national convention,” suspended in 1996 after the NLD walked out, one diplomat said.

The diplomats said Razali had quoted Suu Kyi, back home under house arrest after surgery which followed more than three months in detention at a secret location, as saying she was willing to work with Khin Nyunt on the road map.

But Suu Kyi also wanted an investigation into the May 30 violence between her supporters and pro-government activists during a provincial tour which led to her detention, they said.

The government — which said it was keeping her in detention for her own protection and would release her when the political heat evaporated — was unlikely to allow an investigation into the trouble for which each side blames the other.

It was too early to tell whether that would be a major obstacle, and Myanmar expertPornpimol Trichot of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University said she did not think the generals were confident enough yet to free her anyway. “They can’t release Suu Kyi now because they are not confident how well they could handle popular support for Suu Kyi,” Pornpimol said.

Razali, who met Suu Kyi at her lakeside home, reported that she was “well and in good spirits”.

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