Suu Kyi critical of Burma junta talks

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The Independent Online

The detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is frustrated at a lack of talks on political reform with the ruling military junta since last year's bloody crackdown on dissent, her party has said.

Following the fifth meeting between Ms Suu Kyi and the junta liaison minister Aung Kyi, Ms Suu Kyi's spokesman Nyan Win said she held out little hope that unprecedented international pressure on the generals would bear fruit. She had also been allowed to meet leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

"Let's hope for the best and prepare for the worst," he quoted her as saying, adding she worried that yesterday's meetings might give rise to "false hope". Mr Win said she had told Mr Kyi, appointed as go-between after the September crackdown, that talks must include representatives of Burma's many ethnic groups, which have been struggling for autonomy for five decades.

Ms Suu Kyi, who has been in prison or under house arrest for more than 12 of the past 18 years, also told her colleagues she feared she was being strung along by the junta, a group of generals who have refused to acknowledge their election defeat in 1990. "She is not satisfied with meetings with Aung Kyi and with the lack of any time frame," said Mr Win.

The NLD's vice-chairman Tin Oo, who has been under house arrest since May 2003, was barred from attending the meeting, which was held under heavy armed guard.