In a sign of concession, or a sign that Than Shwe wants to take the heat off the military junta awhile, Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to meet with her Parties Leaders Friday in Burma. (aka Myanmar, but I refuse to call it that.) A representative from the reigning junta was at the meeting.
Nyan Win, a spokesman for her party, the National League for Democracy, said Aung San Suu Kyi believed that the military government was “serious and really willing to work for national reconciliation,” Reuters reported.
Analysts say they are watching to determine whether the ruling generals’ outreach to Aung San Suu Kyi is genuine or whether it falls into a well-established pattern of short-lived concessions toward dissidents followed by a return to a hard-line stance. Myanmar has been under military rule for 45 years.
The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper said Friday that the government would continue to carry out democratic change, as promised in a convention in July. The convention set up guidelines for a constitution that the junta said was the first of a seven-stage process to establish what it called a disciplined form of democratic rule. But the meeting came 14 years after the first constitutional convention, and the junta has given no time frame for the overall process. The government will “continue striving earnestly for national reconsolidation in true cooperation with the UN Secretariat,” said the paper, which is closely read by diplomats and analysts seeking hints to the secretive government’s intentions.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been captive under house arrest or in jail most of the past two decades. After winning democratic election, she was placed under arrest by the ruling military junta, and Dictator Than Shwe. Her husband died apart from her, and her children grew up without her.