Suu Kyi meets govt amid talk of return

Aung San Suu Kyi held her fourth set of talks with Burma’s labour minister since the new government came to power in March amid speculation that she will reregister her National League for Democracy as a political party.

The opposition leader met with Aung Kyi on Sunday afternoon at a government guesthouse in Rangoon. In keeping with past meetings, few specific details have been released, although a statement after the session said the two discussed peace among ethnic groups and the release of political prisoners, as well as ongoing reforms to the country’s beleaguered economy.

Not long after a meeting in September, during which Suu Kyi urged the government to release political prisoners, an amnesty was announced that saw nearly 240 jailed activist and politicians freed.

Aung Kyi said yesterday that the government “will not stop” releasing prisoners, implying that another amnesty may be on the cards soon. As always, however, it remains mute on the fate of the nearly 1,700 inmates jailed for political activities. The government denies that it holds political prisoners.

Rumours are also circulating that Suu Kyi will attempt to reregister her party after it was disbanded earlier this year, paving the way for her official re-entry to Burma’s political arena after years spent on the sidelines.

Legal amendments have been approved that would allow the National League for Democracy to become a party again and its members able to contest for parliamentary seats in the looming by-elections, although Suu Kyi remains wary of committing herself.

The party was dissolved after it chose not to compete in last year’s elections, given that Suu Kyi, as a former prisoner, would be unable to run for office. But one of the amendments will overturn a ban on parties being recognised unless they contested three seats in the elections.

She told a press conference on Sunday however that the NLD would not make a decision until it had seen the small print accompanying the new law.

The 66-year-old also netted a result in a protracted legal battle against three individuals, including her brother Aung San Oo, whom she is suing for contempt of court.

Rangoon’s High Court accepted a lawsuit filed by Suu Kyi over an interview with Aung San Oo in the Monitor News Journal in which he claimed to have won a court case relating to a dispute over the University Avenue house where she was kept under house arrest, and which he claims ownership of.

The journal’s chief editor, Myat Khine, and the journal’s publisher, Wunna Kyaw Htin Hla Myint, are also subjects of the lawsuit.

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