Ban calls for release of political prisoners in Burma
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Last Updated: Saturday, August 01, 2009, 10:16
United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Burmese military junta to release all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular leader, who has spent 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest.

A spokesman of Ban told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday that the Secretary General met the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations on Thursday.

During the meeting, Ban reiterated his clear expectation and that of the international community, that the Burmese government will give careful consideration to the implications of any verdict in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi and exercise its responsibility to ensure her immediate release.

Ban also reiterated the international community's high expectations that the government of Myanmar will act in Myanmar's interest by taking timely and positive steps in follow-up to the specific proposals which he made during his recent visit to Myanmar, starting with the release of all political prisoners, the spokesman said.

"After reporting the Secretary-General's messages to his authorities, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar informed us that the verdict was being postponed," the UN spokesman, Farhan Haq said.

Ban deplores Baghdad bomb attacks

New York: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the bomb attacks on five mosques in Baghdad, that have left dozens dead and wounded.

Ban said, attacks against places of worship cannot be justified by any political or religious cause.

"These attacks appear to be aimed at provoking sectarian strife and undermining stability in Iraq," the Secretary General said yesterday.

In a statement, Ban appealed to the Iraqi people to remain steadfast in their efforts to resolve difference through dialogue and achieve national reconciliation.

The United Nations is committed to helping the Iraqi people in this important endeavour, Ban said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 01, 2009, 10:16

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