07/04/2009, 00.00
MYANMAR

The Burmese junta bans meeting between Ban Ki-moon and Aung San Suu Kyi

Gen. Than Shwe justifies his refusal saying he does not want to "interfere with judicial process." The opposition leader is in jail accused of having violated the terms of her house arrest. The farcical trial is postponed once again.

Naypyidaw (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese military junta has banned the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon from meeting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ban was denied the visit during a meeting with General Shwe Tahn.

The UN secretary says he is "disappointed" and calls the rejection "a setback for the international community and a lost opportunity for the Burmese authorities."

The military junta justified its refusal saying that Aung San Suu Kyi is currently on trial and that Gen. Than Shwe does not want to interfere in the judicial process.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in jail since May 14th last accused of having hosted the American John Yettaw in her home. For this she is liable to five years in prison. The arrest is seen as a pretext to prevent the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) from participating in Parliamentary elections scheduled for 2010.

The farcical trial was to resume yesterday, with the hearing of a witness for the defence, but was postponed to July 10th.

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