31 May 2006

Secretary-General Deeply Disappointed at Myanmar's Extension of House Arrest for Aung San Suu Kyi

NEW YORK, 30 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General was deeply disappointed to learn that the Myanmar authorities have extended the detention under house arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD).  He believes Myanmar's leadership has missed a significant opportunity to confirm, through concrete actions, its expressed commitment to move towards true national reconciliation and all-inclusive democracy, as well as improved relations with the international community.

Despite this setback, the international community cannot abandon the search for improvements in the difficult situation in Myanmar.  The Secretary-General will continue to make every effort to secure not only the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political detainees, but also to urge Myanmar's authorities to take other steps they discussed with the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, during his recent visit to the country.  These include improved safety and access for humanitarian assistance, restraint in military operations that have affected civilians, and -- ultimately -- the possibility of internal dialogue that could lead to national reconciliation.

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