UN Sec Gen to Burma on Friday

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Aung San Suu Kyi meeting diplomats before her trial

The Times reports that

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, will visit Burma on Friday in a diplomatically risky effort to win concessions from the country’s military dictatorship.

Mr Ban hopes to persuade the Burmese junta to release political prisoners, including the country’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in advance of an election next year, denounced by opposition groups as fraudulent and meaningless.

But if he comes away without a significant compromise by the regime, he will further undermine the UN’s authority in a country where neither punitive sanctions nor diplomatic engagement have brought any obvious improvements.

Please pray that his visit will be useful, and not merely a propaganda opportunity for the regime. It comes at a time when the clamp down on ethnic opposition is particularly intense, with the Burmese opposition (esp. Aung San Suu Kyi) also under attack Ban Ki Moon’s visit could be critical…

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