Saturday, November 10, 2007

Burma: Time for healing

Myanmar's Suu Kyi says 'time for healing' after meeting with govt officials

(AFP 10th Nov 2007)

YANGON : Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is optimistic after meeting Friday with a military official and believes it is time for the "healing process" to start, her party said.
The pro-democracy leader also met with members of her National League for Democracy for the first time in more than three years amid hopes of a thaw in relations with the generals who crushed street protests against their rule in September.
Aung San Suu Kyi met with three senior party members -- Aung Shwe, Lwin, Nyunt Wai -- and spokesman Nyan Win before meeting with Labour Minister Aung Kyi, whom the generals appointed as a go-between following international outrage at their deadly crackdown.
"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she believed the ruling authorities have the will for national reconciliation," Nyan Win said in a statement read out to reporters after the meetings.
"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the bad events in September and October were sorrowful, not only for the NLD, but also for the government and the people," Nyan Win said.
"She said we have to work for the healing process first. We also discussed the necessary things to achieve the healing process," he said, adding that he could not release details.
Military leader Senior General Than Shwe had previously offered dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi but on condition that she drop her support for international sanctions, which have been further tightened since the September crackdown.
"Regarding these demands, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she will try to get a solution for these demands," Nyan Win said.
Asked to compare a previous meeting in 2004 and Friday's, Nyan Win said: "This time the discussion is more optimistic and more workable," adding that it was also Aung San Suu Kyi's view following her meeting with Aung Kyi.
"The main thing we discussed is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked for suggestions from us regarding the dialogue process and we discussed the suggestions, Nyan Win said, adding he could not disclose details.
"We will continue to work with Major General Aung Kyi from now on," he said.
The meetings follow UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari's six-day mission to Myanmar, which he said had led to progress towards establishing a dialogue between the military and the country's pro-democracy movement.
Aung San Suu Kyi, in a statement read out by Gambari in Singapore, said she was willing to cooperate with the military, which has ruled Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, for the past 45 years.
"In the interest of the nation, I stand ready to cooperate with the government in order to make this process of dialogue a success," she said.
It was the first such pledge since she was last put under house arrest in 2003.
Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of independence hero General Aung San, has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest at her lakeside home in Yangon.
She welcomed the appointment last month of Aung Kyi as the government's go-between, describing October 25 talks with him as "constructive".
"I expect that this phase of preliminary consultations will conclude soon so that a meaningful and timebound dialogue with the SPDC (government) leadership can start as early as possible," said Aung San Suu Kyi, widely known as "The Lady."
Any dialogue with the military would be "guided by the policies and wishes" of her party, but she would also need to consult with other groups and ethnic minorities, according to her statement read by Gambari.
The Nigerian diplomat met Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday after warning the military against a return to the status quo that existed before the mass pro-democracy protests were put down.
His mission ended without a meeting with military leader Senior General Than Shwe, although the UN envoy met several officials and NLD members.
The pro-democracy protests began in mid-August after a massive hike in the price of everyday fuel, but escalated into the biggest threat to the generals in nearly 20 years when Buddhist monks emerged to lead the movement. - AFP /ls
My comments:
Hi friends,
I am glad that Gambari seems to be making some progress acting as a bridge between Daw ASSK and the junta.
I am pleasantly surprised that finally true reconciliation is not totally impossible without further bloodshed.
Let us not delude ourselves that the junta is just going to give up and leave the political sphere for ASSK's NLD to step right in. These control-freak dictators will use all their powers to ensure that their own interests are safe-guarded and protected.
This live drama is literally unfolding before our eyes. As they say, the plot thickens...
Akan datang ( Malay for "coming soon"). Stay tuned for the next episode.
Just happy for Burma and could not suppress my delight.
Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

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