05/20/2009, 00.00
THAILAND – MYANMAR
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Ten journalists at the third hearing against Aung San Suu Kyi, still in prison

The military junta allows five randomly picked foreign journalists access to the courtroom, as well as five pro government reporters. In the afternoon the opposition leader is due to meet with foreign diplomats. United Nations and ASEAN push for her release.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – A group of journalists were permission to participate in the third hearing in the trial against Aung San Suu Kyi; this afternoon a delegation of foreign diplomats will meet the opposition leader, being detained in Insein prison Yangon, in a surprise move by the military junta that rules Myanmar.  However video cameras and recording have been banned.

On leaving the court room the reporters referred that Aung San Suu Kyi “appears to be in good health and high spirits”.  A security detail however immediately intervened to stop news leaking out.  The reporters were then accompanied to the offices of the op position party, the National League for Democracy (NLD.  The group of reporters who followed the hearing was made up of five journalists from international media and five from strictly pro-government local press.  They were chosen by the drawing of lots.  Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), NipponTV, Sankei Shimbun and Jiji Press were authorised access to the trial.  Win Tin, National League for Democracy Central Executive Committee member commented “Whatever it is, the situation is a little bit extraordinary”, adding “we feel slightly better now that the media and the like are allowed in”.

The military junta has also authorised the diplomatic representatives from Russia, Thailand and Singapore to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. The face to face will take place this afternoon, following the end of today’s proceedings in court.  Local sources report the presence of 25 cars with diplomatic number plates at the entrance to Insein prison, among them the United States, Great Britain and France.

Meanwhile International efforts are re-doubling.  Members of the UN Security Council is set to publish a declaration on the issue, but agreement has yet to be reached on the wording of the document (statements from the Security Council or Presidency have greater weight).  China Russia and Japan are asking for “caution” in the UN’s approach to avoid direct confrontation with the Burmese Junta.  The United States, Britain and France have already expressed their condemnation of the Noble Peace Prize Winner’s arrest.

Yesterday Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chairman of Asean Summit stressed the stance of the Asian Countries appealing Burma to release Aung San Suu Kyi. “Asean is ready to take a constructive role in the issue” commented the Premier “We are ready to take part in a dialogue of conciliation so that Burma can move forward towards democracy”.  

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