Suu Kyi holds talks with Myanmar minister

Last Updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 20:35

Yangon: Myanmar democracy movement leader Aung
San Suu Kyi met on Sunday with a Cabinet minister to discuss
issues whose resolution could lead to a breakthrough in the
country`s long-running political deadlock.

Labor Minister Aung Kyi read a joint statement after their
meeting that said the two had discussed an amnesty, peace
talks with ethnic armed groups and economic and financial
matters.

Some 200 of an estimated 2,000 political prisoners were
released on Oct 11 under an amnesty for 6,300 convicts.
An elected but military-backed government took power in
March after decades of repressive army rule and its new
president, Thein Sein, has moved to liberalise the political
atmosphere.

In the past week, Parliament has amended a law to try to
woo Suu Kyi`s National League for Democracy into reregistering
as a political party.

The government would like to see the United States and
other Western nations lift political and economic sanctions
imposed against the repressive former ruling junta. Without
Suu Kyi`s blessings they are unlikely to do much.
A recent visit by Washington`s special envoy to Myanmar
has raised expectations that major developments may come soon.

It was the fourth meeting between Aung Kyi -- the
government`s designated liaison officer -- and Suu Kyi since
July after the nominally civilian government took over power
from the military`s junta regime in March.

Parliament`s recent amendment of the 2010 political party
registration law appeared to meet some objections from Suu Kyi
and her National League for Democracy that it discriminated
against them.

Her organisation was delisted as a political party last
year after it refused to register for the November 2010
election, claiming it was being held under undemocratic
conditions.

A party set up as a proxy for the military won a
resounding victory, giving credence to criticism that the
military`s roadmap to democracy is just a smoke screen for
continued domination by the army.

The amendments, not yet signed into law by Thein Sein, are
meant to encourage the NLD to reregister as a political party,
which in turn would amount to giving at least tacit
recognition to the legitimacy of Thein Sein`s government.

Suu Kyi has not committed herself or her party to such a
move. Asked if the NLD would register, she said, "Once we see
the law, then we will hold a party meeting and decide whether
or not we will register."

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 20:35

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