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Suu Kyi’s letter goes public

Nov 18, 2009 (DVB), Burma's main opposition party has released the contents of a letter sent last week by Aung San Suu Kyi to the country's ruling general in which she requests a meeting between the two.

The letter had initially been shrouded in secrecy until the National League for Democracy (NLD) party had given its formal approval, although the basic gist was revealed by news agencies last week.

In the letter, Suu Kyi expresses thanks to the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) for organizing a meeting between her and Kurt Campbell, the senior United States' government official who visited Burma last month.

She also touched on the previous letter she sent to senior general Than Shwe in which she urged for dialogue between the two over the lifting of sanctions on Burma.

"I hope that I will be able to cooperate with the SPDC in other work activities beneficial to the nation," she says, but adds later that this cooperation would come "after meeting with the NLD [Central Executive Committee] members".

While Suu Kyi was earlier this month permitted to hold a rare meeting with her party members, the government's refusal to allow detained vice-chairperson Tin Oo to attend forced Suu Kyi to reject the offer.

The letter urged Than Shwe to allow her to meet at her house with Tin Oo and other members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) "to discuss how to efficiently deal with the party's work".

She also requested permission to visit the party's ailing chairperson, Aung Shwe, secretary U Lwin and CEC member Lun Tin.

Finally, she said, "I would like to humbly request for permission to meet with Senior General Than Shwe in regard to cooperation with the SPDC for the benefit of the nation".

The letter is a further sign that cooperation between Suu Kyi and the ruling junta, which has kept the 64-year-old Nobel laureate in detention for 14 of the past 20 years, appears to be increasing.

Party members have welcomed the change in tack from both sides, who have been polarized since the government refused to honour a landslide election victory by the NLD in 1990.

"I think [this letter] plays an important role for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's future work plans, her ambitions, her political stance, the country's current situation and also for its politics," said senior NLD member, Win Tin.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet


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