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Suu Kyi allowed to pay respects to party elders

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In a development, rare in military ruled Burma, detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was granted her request to meet three ailing party leaders on Wednesday.

Detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (64), on Wednesday morning was transported to the government-owned Seinleikanthar guest house, where she was allowed to meet the 92 year-old National League for Democracy party Chairman, Aung Shwe, 88 year-old party central executive committee (CEC) member Lun Tin and party Secretary U Lwin for about an hour.

“As far as I know, all the leaders are happy and satisfied with the meeting. Aung San Suu Kyi said she was happy as it has been a long time since she last met party leaders,” Nyan Win, the NLD spokesperson, told Mizzima.

According to Nyan Win, during the meeting Chairman Aung Shwe told party General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi that the CEC would continue to stand by her and accept her decisions.

“Another thing that they [NLD leaders] discussed was to reorganise the leadership,” Nyan Win added.

Sources in the NLD said the four leaders were happy and satisfied with the meeting and speculated that Aung San Suu Kyi might be granted her second request of meeting the NLD CEC.

The meeting on Wednesday was in response to the request made by detained Nobel Peace Laureate to junta supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe in her letter sent last month.

The Burmese pro-democracy leader, in her letter, requested Than Shwe to allow her to visit the three ailing party leaders and pay her respects; to allow her a meeting with party CEC including detained party vice-chairman Tin Oo and to meet Than Shwe directly in order to further discuss activities related to ease western sanctions.

But a senior member of the NLD earlier told Mizzima the junta should have showed more sincerity in their response to Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposal by allowing her to visit the ailing party leaders at their homes, instead of bringing them together at a government guest house.  

On Wednesday, security on University Avenue Street and the street to the government guest house were especially tightened, Mizzima’s correspondent in Rangoon said.

The NLD’s CEC includes, Chairman Aung Shwe, Vice-Chairman Tin Oo, General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi, and Secretary U Lwin. CEC members include Win Tin, Than Tun, Thakhin Soe Myint, Hla Pe, Lun Tin, Nyunt Wei, and Khin Maung Swe.

Aung Naing Oo, a Burmese observer based in Thailand, said he believes the government arranged the meeting at the guest house due to Aung San Suu Kyi’s security.

“The meeting indicates that the junta is also slowly becoming flexible and is slowly allowing the NLD to function. Though there are restrictions even now, the government is beginning to allow meetings,” Aung Naing Oo said.

The last meeting between NLD CEC members and Aung San Suu Kyi was on February 2, and she also had a meeting with party chairman at the Seinle Kantha guest in February 2007.

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 May 2010 22:53 )  

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