Daw Suu critical of talks with junta

Jan 31, 2008 (AP), Detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is not satisfied with the progress of her meetings with a representative of the ruling military junta, a member of her political party said Wednesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, allowed a meeting earlier in the day with executives of her National League for Democracy party, conveyed a gloomy assessment of the prospects for political reform, said party spokesman Nyan Win, who also attended.

She asked that they convey to the public the message that "We should hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We have to be patient as we have sacrificed for many years," he said.

Following the junta’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests last year, Western nations and the UN pressed it to hold talks with Aung San Suu Kyi to bring about democratic reform.

The junta appointed a ministerial-level official, Aung Kyi, to meet with her, and they have since met several times. They met again Wednesday after Aung San Suu Kyi’s meeting with party colleagues.

"What I can say is Daw Suu is not satisfied with the current meetings with the junta, especially the fact that the process is not time-bound," Nyan Win said, referring to the lack of a time frame for the talks to achieve any results.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, raised several other complaints during her meeting with party colleagues, Nyan Win said.

She said Aung Kyi had insisted that political change must wait until the government completes a "roadmap to democracy" at some future time ‚ a position Aung San Suu Kyi described as "totally wrong."

She also said she had asked that NLD Vice Chairman Tin Oo be allowed to attend Wednesday’s meeting with party colleagues, and "doesn’t understand" why he was not included, he said.

Tin Oo was detained at the same time as Aung San Suu Kyi in May 2003, and like her remains under house arrest.

Aung San Suu Kyi also said members of Burma’s fractious ethnic minorities must take part in the talks if there is to be progress in restoring political stability to the country.

Burma has been in a political logjam since 1990, when the junta staged general elections but refused to let Aung San Suu Kyi’s party take power after it won. It instead stepped up a campaign of harassment and arrests of party supporters.

Last September, the junta suppressed the biggest pro-democracy protests in two decades, using the army to clear the streets and detaining thousands of people.

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