US senator to visit Myanmar
A US senator who secured the release of an American prisoner convicted of sneaking into the house of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will return to Myanmar for talks with the country`s military rulers.
Yangon: A US senator who secured the release of an American prisoner convicted of sneaking into the house of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will return to Myanmar for talks with the country`s military rulers, his office said Wednesday.
Sen Jim Webb, a Democrat from Virginia who serves on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is likely to press for opposition leader Suu Kyi`s release from detention during a three-day visit starting June 4.
His visit is part of an Asian tour that will also include South Korea and Thailand, his office said.
"Webb`s trip comes at a time of great unrest in the region following the North Korean torpedo attack on a South Korean vessel, violent protests in Thailand and provocations
from the Burmese regime," a statement from his office said. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
Webb`s trip to Myanmar follows a visit by top US official Kurt Campbell last month and will come on the heels of that of Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Myanmar`s closest and most powerful ally. Wen is due to visit June 2.
Webb met democracy icon Suu Kyi last year and secured the release of John Yettaw, an American man sentenced to seven years in prison for secretly swimming to her house.
Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 14 of the last 20 years, was sentenced by a court to three years in prison with hard labour for violating her house arrest as a result of Yettaw`s intrusion, but the punishment was reduced to 18 months of house arrest by the junta`s chief, Senior Gen Than Shwe.