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UN Envoy Ends Burma Visit, Denied Access to Suu Kyi


The United Nations special envoy on human rights has concluded a five-day visit to Burma, where his request for a meeting with detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was denied.

U.N. envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana told reporters he deeply regrets the decision by the country's military government, especially since Burma is expected later this year to hold its first national elections in two decades.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won an overwhelming victory in the last election in 1990. But the military refused to relinquish power.

Quintana met with a number of Burmese government officials and senior NLD members, including the party's deputy leader, Tin Oo, who was released from seven years of house arrest last week.

The U.N. envoy said that during his talks with the government, he was given no indication when the election will take place.

He said he urged the ruling generals to release political prisoners in advance of the vote. But he said there is no sign that will take place.

The NLD has yet to say whether it will participate in the election.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in some form of detention for 14 of the past 20 years.

Quintana will report his findings to a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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