UN rights envoy has brief meeting with NLD

Aug 6, 2008 (DVB), United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana spent ten minutes meeting three members of the National League for Democracy this afternoon, a party spokesperson said.

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said three party members , U Lwin and campaign wing members U Than Htun and U Nyunt Wei , attended a meeting with Quintana today at the Mya Yeik Nyo hotel.

He said the three were picked up by government officials at 10am but the meeting was not held until 1pm and only lasted for 10 minutes.

"We informed him about various issues such as Daw Suu’s appeal being denied constantly, human rights abuses and the use of unfair methods in the referendum , and we also handed him statements we released on those matters," he said.

"We told him about the situation of the political prisoners in Burma who have been imprisoned on various criminal charges for doing what they believe in."

Nyan Win said the meeting had been so brief because Quintana wanted to meet with a number of organisations individually.

"The original plan was to let Mr Quintana meet all the different political organisations such as the NLD and the National Unity Party, other political activists such as the 88 Generation Students (Union of Burma) and the National League for Democracy (Patriots), and a few independent parliamentary candidates all at the same time," he said.

"But when Mr Quintana was asked his opinion on the plan, he said it would be better if he could meet the different groups one at a time , and then he was given 10 minutes to meet each group."

Nyan Win said there was no plan for another meeting between the NLD and the special rapporteur, and he had not heard of any plans for Quintana to meet detained NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Commenting on US president Bush’s current trip to Thailand to meet opposition activists, Nyan Win said international support for the democracy movement was always welcome.

He also rejected criticisms that the US president had not backed up his words with action.

"A person who is only speaking out is still better than a person who doesn’t even make a sound," he said.

"And what about those who are speaking out in a negative way , what about those use the veto , did anyone even dare to criticise that?" he went on.

"It's not fair just to criticise the people who are actually saying something supportive."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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