Myanmar invites UN envoy for talks on democratic reforms

July 16th, 2008 - 1:25 am ICT by IANS  

New York, July 15 (DPA) Myanmar Tuesday invited UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari for a return visit to continue discussions on implementing the democratic process in the country. Myanmar said Gambari’s scheduled visit in May could not take place because of the widespread devastation inflicted by Cyclone Nargis, which killed an estimated 140,000 people.

Gambari was requested to visit in mid-August “to continue the good offices role of the (UN) secretary general mandated by the UN General Assembly,” said the letter of invitation by Myanmar’s UN Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe.

It would be Gambari’s fourth visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

Kyaw said Gambari has been implementing his mandate “very ably”.

The UN has been urging Myanmar’s military regime to democratize its institutions, hold political and national dialogue with the opposition and free political prisoners, including the head of the main opposition party, Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy.

Having recently pushed through a constitution that will assure the military’s control over any elected government, Myanmar’s ruling junta has promised to hold polls sometime in 2010.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. The government has one of the world’s worst records in human rights and labour rights abuses.

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