Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Gambari's visit has created no political breakthrough: Burmese opposition

By Mungpi
Mizzima News
18 August 2008

New Delhi - Burma's main opposition party – the National League fro Democracy – on Monday said it welcomed another round of visit by the United Nations special envoy to Burma, but pointed out that so far Gambari's efforts had failed to create any political breakthrough.

Nyan Win, spokesperson of the NLD, said they have always welcomed efforts by the UN and hope that it will bring about a breakthrough in the current political stalemate in Burma.

"We hope this time he [Gambari] will be able to work towards resuming the talks between Daw Suu and U Aung Kyi," Nyan Win said.

Following Gambari's first visit after Burma's military rulers brutally cracked down on protesters in September, the junta appointed its Labour Minister Aung Kyi as the liaison person to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Both Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi, since then have met five times but the talks have been stalled since January with the Nobel Peace Laureate complaining of the slow pace of talks.

"So far, we have not seen any tangible result of his [Gambari] visit but we hope he will bring about some kind of breakthrough," Nyan Win said.

Gambari on Monday arrived in Rangoon on his fourth visit since Burma's rulers brutally cracked down on protesters in September last year.

But it is still not clear whether Gambari will be allowed to meet top military leaders as well as opposition and ethnic groups including detained opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

NLD leaders, who were allowed to meet Gambari on his earlier visits, said they have not received any invitation to meet the visiting UN envoy.

Win Min, a Burmese political observer in Thailand, said Gambari's visit this time could have no significance as "Gambari seems to continue to use his old plan which is to revive the talk, rather than formulate a new plan, while the regime has already discontinued talks between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi."

"The regime didn't listen to Gambari's suggestions on inclusiveness on drafting the constitution and the UN's monitoring on referendum in the past. So, they're unlikely to listen to him this time," he added.

He also said a rare meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her lawyer, Kyi Win, could be a little concession by the military regime to appease Gambari in replacing the talks between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed for the second time in a month to meet her lawyer Kyi Win, and granted a visit by her family doctor, Tin Myo Win, on Sunday.

Gambari last visited Burma in March, more than a month before the military regime held its referendum on a draft constitution in May, and urged the junta to allow the UN to monitor the process of its referendum.

But the junta flatly rejected his suggestion saying the Burmese government was capable enough of conducting a free and fair referendum.

However, the international community including human rights watchdogs have dubbed the junta's referendum as 'rigged' and lacking in credibility.

Despite the international community's condemnation, the junta continued with its planned referendum and announced that its draft constitution was approved by more than 92 per cent of the total eligible voters in Burma. The voter turn out declared by the regime was more than 98 per cent.

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