UN makes fresh call for Myanmar to free prisoners

The UN has made a fresh call for Myanmar to free all political prisoners after talks between key countries on how to coax the junta out of its isolation.

Last Updated: Dec 07, 2010, 10:43 AM IST

United Nations: The United Nations has made a
fresh call for Myanmar to free all political prisoners after talks between key countries on how to coax the junta out of its isolation.

The call was made at a meeting convened by UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday after a special envoy
visited Myanmar.

Participants urged Myanmar`s ruling generals to launch
talks with the Aung San Suu Kyi-led opposition following
elections and the junta`s release of the long-detained Nobel
Peace Prize-winning democracy icon, a UN spokesman said in a
statement.

"In order for any transition to succeed, it is imperative
that this should involve not only those who participated and
won seats in the election, but also those who did not or could
not," said the statement.

"This must include the release of political prisoners.
Addressing concerns about the credibility of the process to
date is also essential for any next steps to succeed."

The international community widely criticized Myanmar`s
November 7 election. Most opposition parties were banned and
Suu Kyi`s release from nearly two decades of detention only
came after.
Ban has called for "broad-based and inclusive" political
changes, but the junta has shown little sign that it will make
concessions, diplomats said.

UN envoy Vijay Nambiar addressed the so-called Group of
Friends meeting with Ban and representatives of about 14
countries, including Australia, Britain, China, France, India,
Russia and the United States, as well as Myanmar`s southeast
Asian neighbors.
He then briefed the UN Security Council on his visit but
did not speak to reporters after the closed hearing.

PTI