By LALIT K JHA
WASHINGTON—United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed his concern about the news reports that Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved to the Insein Prison to face criminal charges.
However, aside from issuing a statement through his spokesperson’s office, there was no indication as to what specific measures the UN secretary-general was willing to take to resolve this latest issue in the long saga of the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s detention.
“The Secretary-General believes that Aung San Suu Kyi is an essential partner for dialogue in Myanmar’s national reconciliation and calls on the Government not to take any further action that could undermine this important process,” the statement said.
Ban, who has repeatedly said in the past that he has a personal interest in Burma, believes strongly that Suu Kyi and all those who have a contribution to make to the future of their country must be free to be able to do so to ensure that the political process is credible, according to his spokesperson’s office.
Meanwhile, several world leaders, including former US President Jimmy Carter, former South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, condemned the latest move by the Burmese military junta. In a statement, the group of eminent world personalities—calling themselves “The Elders”—urged the military rulers to immediately release Suu Kyi, who is an honorary member of the group.
“This so-called trial is absurd!” charged Tutu. “It is an excuse by the junta to extend her incarceration yet again. Our sister must be released immediately.”
“The regime is clearly seeking reasons not to release her,” said Carter. “We stand by Aung San Suu Kyi, our fellow Elder, and urge the United Nations and Asean to dispatch envoys to Burma to demand her immediate release.”