UN special envoy to meet Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar

January 30th, 2009 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Jan 30 (DPA) The United Nations special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, is scheduled to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on an official visit expected to start this weekend, government sources said Friday.Gambari is expected to arrive in Yangon Saturday to revive his so far unsuccessful efforts to push Myanmar’s ruling junta to free Suu Kyi and thousands of other political prisoners and to allow democratic reforms in the military dictatorship.

On his last trip in August 2008, Gambari was denied an audience with military supremo Senior General Than Shwe. The UN special envoy also failed to meet Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest in her Yangon home since May 2003.

Suu Kyi reportedly judged a meeting then with Gambari as unnecessary as he had failed to meet Than Shwe, the prime decision-maker in Myanmar.

It was unclear whether Gambari will be granted an interview with Than Shwe this trip, but government sources said the special envoy was scheduled to meet Suu Kyi, members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party and some government ministers based in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon.

Gambari was also scheduled to visit parts of the Irrawaddy Delta, which was devastated by cyclone Nargis in May last year.

The cyclone left 140,000 dead or missing, and 2.4 million in dire need of emergency assistance, the delivery of which was initially hampered by the military, but finally allowed in.

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