U.N. Secretary General frustrated by Myanmar inaction
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced frustration on Monday that Myanmar's military government had failed to take up proposals by the world body to bring democracy to the southeast Asian nation, reports Reuters.
Ban has been asked by the U.N. Security Council to do his utmost to pursue reforms in Myanmar, which drew international condemnation last year for a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters led by monks.
Ban's special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, last visited the former Burma in August, but failed to wring concessions from the junta or to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for most of the past five years.
In a report, Ban said "it remains a source of frustration that meaningful steps have yet to be taken by the Myanmar authorities in response to the concerns and expectations of the United Nations and the international community."
Myanmar says it is pursuing its own seven-step "roadmap" to democracy. It announced overwhelming public support in a May referendum on an army-drafted constitution as part of a process meant to culminate in multiparty elections in 2010 and end a nearly 20-year political stalemate.
Western countries have condemned the referendum as a sham.
"It is unfortunate that specific suggestions of the United Nations to improve the credibility and inclusiveness of the political process have thus far not been taken up by the government," Ban said in his report for the General Assembly.
The main U.N. demands, backed by the Security Council and advanced by Gambari, have been for the junta to release political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and start a serious dialogue with the opposition.