US Envoys Met Suu Kyi, Ethnic Cease-Fire Groups
4 November 2009: Two high-level US diplomats met Aung San Suu Kyi today at Inya Lake Hotel in Rangoon, some 10-minute drive from the lake side home where Suu Kyi is confined under house arrest.
Today’s meeting with American envoys was the first time the Nobel laureate has been allowed outside of her home since her house arrest order was extended after the Burmese court found her guilty of ‘illegally harboring’ an American tourist John Yettaw who intruded into her private compound uninvited earlier this year.
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, the highest US official to visit the country in several years, also met with Burmese Prime Minister General Thein Sein in the new administrative capital of Naypyidaw earlier today.
The US diplomatic envoys also met separately with the leaders of ethnic cease-fire groups in Rangoon yesterday.
In recent months, ethnic cease-fire groups have been under mounting pressure from the military regime to become ‘Border Guard Forces,’ which will operate under the control of the Burma Army. The move is widely believed to be designed to quell any desenting voice from the ethnic groups ahead of the planned 2010 elections.
The US delegation also held meetings with other Burmese officials including Chief Justice U Aung Toe and representatives of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, as well as, Information Minister Brig-Gen. Kyaw Saan.
But details of all the meetings and substance of the discussions remain closed to the public.
However, the US delegation is expected to hold a press conference later in the day at the Rangoon Airport as they leave the country.
The visit is part of the new US policy toward Burma since Washington announced in September plans to diplomatically engage the ruling military regime.