Oct 17, 2009

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi positive about sanctions meetings: lawyer

Yangon – Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said her recent meetings about sanctions with diplomats and a junta minister were positive, her lawyer told AFP Friday.

She held a rare meeting last Friday with top Western diplomats to discuss sanctions imposed on the military-ruled nation, having earlier in the week met twice with Aung Kyi, the official liaison between herself and the junta.

The pair had not met since January 2008.

The meetings followed a letter she wrote to junta chief Than Shwe, which offered suggestions on getting sanctions lifted, marking an easing of her stance after years of advocating punitive measures against the ruling generals.

“Daw Suu sees the meetings as positive and also she expects the meeting process to be effective,” her lawyer Nyan Win said, after meeting with the opposition leader for an hour on Friday. “Daw” is a term of respect in Myanmar.

The Nobel Peace Laureate wants to meet with diplomats again to get more facts and figures about sanctions, Nyan Win said, adding that they would not be releasing any more details of the talks for the moment.

On October 2, Suu Kyi’s appeal against her extended house arrest was rejected by judges, who upheld her August conviction over an incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her lakeside house.

The guilty verdict for the frail 64-year-old, who has spent around 14 of the past 20 years in detention, earned her an extra 18 months’ house arrest and provoked international outrage.

Nyan Win said they would now prepare a revision of the appeal to submit to the Supreme Court, which they also discussed with Suu Kyi Friday.

The junta refused to let Suu Kyi take power after the country’s last elections in 1990, which her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by a landslide, leading Western countries to impose sanctions.

Her extended house arrest keeps her off the scene for elections promised by the regime next year, adding to criticism that the polls are a sham designed to legitimise the military regime’s grip on power.

The US recently unveiled a major policy shift to re-engage the junta but warned against lifting sanctions until progress is made towards democracy.


Anonymous said...

I read about it some days ago in another blog and the main things that you mention here are very similar