Myanmar junta gives Aung San Suu Kyi a rare break from house arrest
( dpa ) - Myanmar's ruling junta on Wednesday allowed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi a rare respite from house arrest to meet with members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, sources said.
Suu Kyi was escorted from her family compound in Yangon, where she has been under house arrest since May, 2003, to the Sein Le Kanthar State Guest House where she was allowed to hold talks with NLD chairman Aung Shwe and seven other party executives, opposition sources confirmed.
No details were immediately available on the outcome of the meeting.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been kept under near complete isolation for the past four years.
It was not clear why Myanmar's military regime allowed her to meet with the NLD leaders but the conciliatory gesture comes at a time when the junta is under increasing pressure to show progress in its political dialogue with the opposition.
European Union special envoy for Myanmar Piero Fussino was in Bangkok earlier this week calling on all Asian governments to unite in putting pressure on Myanmar's junta.
"It is necessary to open a new phase of more constructive and more concise. We need a real dialogue between the junta and the opposition and all different sectors of Myanmar society," said Fassino.
Fassino has already visited Beijing to discuss the Myanmar issue, and plans to travel to Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Japan to solidify Asian support in what has become a fairly universal call on the military rulers of Myanmar to speed up their political dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other suppressed segments of Myanmar society.
The EU appointed Fassino as special envoy for Myanmar last year in an effort to increase pressure on the junta to bring about real political change in their country in the aftermath of a brutal crackdown on protests led by Buddhist monks that shocked the world and left at least 31 people dead.
The crackdown reignited international concern about Myanmar, which has been under military rule since 1962, but the growing frustration has thus far accomplished little in terms of forcing the regime into a real political dialogue with Suu Kyi.
United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has visited Myanmar on several occasions, with the last visit in November, to press for a genuine dialogue but with limited success.