Myanmar govt urges Suu Kyi to register party

Last Updated: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 16:33

Naypyitaw: Myanmar`s government is urging pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to officially register her National League for Democracy as a party so it can legally take part in politics.

Information Minister Kyaw Hsan told a rare news conference on Friday that the government has not cracked down on the group so far in the interests of national reconciliation.

His suggestion came two days before Suu Kyi plans to make her first political foray into the countryside since her release from seven years of house arrest last November. She was detained after her last such trip in 2003.

The government ordered the NLD`s dissolution after it failed to register for last November`s general election, which it called unfair and undemocratic.

Further, Myanmar`s Army-backed regime held out an olive branch to its critics, pledging to continue talks with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and to allow a visit by a UN human rights envoy.

In the conference, Hsan said the nominally civilian government, which came to power after a controversial election last November, hoped to get "successful results" from cooperating with Suu Kyi.

The comments came shortly before Suu Kyi and Labour Minister Aung Kyi began a second round of talks in Yangon.

"We will continue these kinds of meetings for the benefit of the people," Kyaw Hsan told around 50 reporters and some 250 officials invited to the new government`s first media briefing in the capital Naypyidaw since taking power.

Kyaw Hsan said Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, who was last allowed into the country in February 2010, would return without specifying a date.

Suu Kyi was warned by the regime in June to stay out of politics but the first round of talks with Aung Kyi appeared to strike a more conciliatory tone.

She has also signalled her intention to remain in politics and Friday`s meeting comes two days before she is due to make her first overtly political trip outside Yangon since she was freed from seven straight years of house arrest in November.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner first tested her freedom with a visit to an ancient temple city in central Myanmar in July, although politics was not officially on the agenda.

Her one-day excursion to the Bago region, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Yangon, on August 14 -- where she is due to attend a library opening and meet members of a youth forum -- will be political, her party has said.

She has also issued an open letter offering to help broker peace in conflicts between the military and ethnic minority rebels.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 16:33

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