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Burma Accuses British Ambassador of Secret Meetings


Burma's state-run newspaper has criticized a British diplomat for holding what it said were secret meetings with the opposition party.

The New Light of Myanmar wrote today-Friday that British ambassador Mark Canning met recently with what the newspaper called "unlawful organizations and political agents."

The newspaper said Canning discussed Britain's contribution to a new fund to fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in Burma. The newspaper said the ambassador should have coordinated with the Burmese Health Ministry instead.

A British official and a spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy denied that the meetings were secret. They said the meetings were part of the ambassador's normal duties.

Britain recently gave 36 million dollars to the new Three Diseases Fund. The fund replaced the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. That organization pulled out of Burma last year because of new restrictions on aid workers.

Information for this report is provided by AFP, AP, Xinhua, New Light of Myanmar)

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