08/04/2008, 00.00
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Democracy and human rights on agenda of UN envoy in Myanmar

The representative of the United Nations will meet with the leaders of the ruling military junta, and with a delegation of Buddhist monks, the force behind the revolt in September 2007, put down with violence. No confirmation of a possible face-to-face meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Improving relations with the ruling military junta in order to discuss the question of human rights, and meeting with the leaders of the opposition movement that is fighting for democracy. These are the goals behind the trip of United Nations envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana to Myanmar, which began last Saturday and will end on Thursday, August 7.

A written statement highlights the intention of the official of the UN agency for human rights to meet with "government officials, representatives of ethnic groups and political parties" of the opposition. Just a short time ago, a meeting was officially confirmed with some of the leaders of the Burmese monks, while there is still no reference to a possible conversation with Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. The United Nations envoy says he wants "to engage in a constructive dialogue with the authorities to improve the human rights situation of the people of Myanmar".

Quintana will leave the country on Thursday, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the massacre carried out by the military junta against demonstrators calling for democracy. More than 3,000 people died during the 1988 uprisings. Precisely in view of the anniversary, the government has instituted a security crackdown, fearing demonstrations or protest marches on August 8.

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