The UN envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, finally got to see the regime’s two top generals yesterday, after days of delays and diversions.
He had flown to the country on Saturday as the army threatened overwhelming force to stifle weeks of peaceful protest against the junta and its catastrophic economic policies. He met Senior General Than Shwe and Deputy Senior General Maung Aye together at their hideaway capital of Nay Pyi Daw, 350km (217miles) north of Rangoon.
Nothing leaked out about the content of the meeting. It was expected that the generals would have sought to justify their crackdown on the protesters, which left many dead and thousands in detention, in the name of state security and stability.
But in a surprise coda to the visit, one which raised a flicker of hope, Mr Gambari then flew back to Rangoon for a second, brief meeting with the democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he had met for more than an hour on Sunday. The most optimistic supposition was that he was bringing a message of some sort from the generals to the woman who, as leader of the opposition which won a landslide election victory in 1990, one that was never honoured, has been the principal thorn in their side ever since. [complete article]
After crushing the democracy uprising with guns, Myanmar’s junta switched tactics Wednesday, sending troops to drag people from their homes in the middle of the night and letting others know they were marked for arrest.
People living near the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s most revered shrine and a flash point of unrest during the protests, reported that police swept through several dozen homes about 3 a.m., dragging away many men for questioning. [complete article]