UN General Secretary Demands Release of Suu Kyi

The UN Secretary General has pledged to fly to Myanmar to demand the release of political prisoners in the wake of resumption of the closed trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning democracy leader, a day after briefly admitting journalists and foreign diplomats.

“I’m deeply concerned about what has been happening in Myanmar, in terms of democratisation and I’m going to urge again the release of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi,” Ban Ki Moon said, using the new name for Burma, favoured by the country’s military dictatorship. “I’m going to visit Myanmar as soon as possible.”

A visit by Ban would help defy the claims by opponents of army rule that UN has cut a sorry figure to pressurize the country’s leadership, Than Shwe and his junta.

“When I go there in person, I’ll discuss with senior General Than Shwe and other government officials on this matter,” Mr Ban promised. “We are again deeply concerned about the detention. She’s a democracy believer. We have a full support and trust in her. And also, she is an indispensable patron for reconsidering the dialogue in Myanmar.”

In the meantime, Suu Kyi appeared in the court inside Insein Prison in Rangoon for a fourth day today. She is accused of infringing the terms of her house arrest by giving shelter to John Yettaw, who is an eccentric American well wisher.

In the trial, the thirty diplomats and ten journalists who were unexpectedly on Wednesday to attend the afternoon  session, were excluded in the trial.

In Wednesday’s hearing the lawyer for Mr Yettaw, 54, suggested that his client had experienced a “vision” of the assassination of Ms Suu Kyi, which motivated him to make his visit to the house where she has spent a total of 13 years under house arrest.

It emerged in court testimony that he has told police during his interrogation: “In my vision, Daw [Madam[ Aung San Suu Kyi will be assassinated, so I came here.”

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