03/08/2008, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Military junta: no concession, but attacks against the UN representative

The junta refuses to make any concession to Gambari, and accuses him of wanting to favour Suu Kyi and of having "endangered" peace and stability in the country.

Yangoon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In meeting with UN representative Ibrahim Gambari, the military junta of Myanmar accuses him of "bias" against the regime, and refuses to amend the project of the constitution, which blocks opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from being a candidate.

Gambari arrived in the country two days ago to ask that Suu Kyi be permitted to participate in the constitutional referendum in May and in the general elections expected in 2010.  But general Kyaw Hsan has replied that it is "impossible to rewrite the constitution".  Those who have married foreigners are excluded from the elections, and Suu Kyi married a British citizen.

Kyaw Hsan has also accused Gambari of "bias" and of "having acted beyond his capacity as mediator", for having taken and revealed a letter from Suu Kyi in their last meeting, in which the leader declares that she is ready for dialogue with the regime for the sake of reconciliation in the country.  "Many people", the general said to Gambari, "believe that you wrote the letter previously, and disclosed it after speaking with Suu Kyi". "This declaration may have endangered stability and peace in the country, which were reached only recently.  It is important that a mediator should act in a positive way and without the intention of directing the offense.  It is not right to attack us and pressure us from every side".

It is Gambari's third visit since September, when the junta violently suppressed the peaceful protests led by the Buddhist monks.  The UN representative was not able to obtain any concession.  On the contrary, analysts say that his missions have permitted the junta to diminish international pressure and to consolidate its power in the meantime.

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