Nov 26th, 2010
YANGON, Myanmar -A senior United Nations official will visit Myanmar this weekend to meet the country’s military rulers and recently released democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, diplomats said Friday.
Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was probably coming to “feel the temperature” in the country following the first election in 20 years and Suu Kyi’s release from more than seven years of house arrest, one diplomat said on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic protocol.
Nambiar is due to arrive in the main city Yangon on Saturday, they said.
Since her release Nov. 7, Suu Kyi has been busy meeting diplomats, U.N. representatives, politicians and international agencies.
The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate has made it clear she plans to pursue her goal of a democratic Myanmar but has been careful not to verbally challenge the junta.
The ruling generals and their longtime archrival have had no contact since Suu Kyi was freed from detention. She has called for face-to-face reconciliation talks with junta leader Gen. Than Shwe.
A long line of U.N. officials, including Ban, have attempted to broker talks between the opposing sides, but despite numerous claims of “breakthroughs” have failed to bring them together.
Suu Kyi’s political party swept the 1990 elections but was never allowed to take power. A pro-regime party overwhelmingly won this month’s elections amid widespread claims the balloting was rigged.
The junta regards Suu Kyi and her nonviolent struggle for democracy as a threat to its power. She has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years.