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UN Envoy Meets Burma's Military Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, Leaves Country


A United Nations envoy has met with Burma's top leader Tuesday in a bid to end the military-ruled country's crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met General Than Shwe Tuesday, in Naypyitaw, the remote capital, far away from Rangoon, where massive protests were crushed last week.

After meeting Than Shwe, he returned to Rangoon and met for a second time with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Gambari then left Burma.

Gambari had been expected to press the general and his government to stop its repression of protesters, release detainees and move toward real democratic reforms.

It was not immediately clear what was accomplished during his meetings.

Meanwhile, as Gambari finished his visit, the United Nations top human rights body in Geneva was opening a special session on Burma.

The European Union is calling on the UN Human Rights Council to "strongly condemn" Burma's violent repression of peaceful demonstrations.

Burma's leaders have said that 10 people died last week during the crackdown and blamed the uprising on "political opportunists." Human rights groups fear the death toll could be higher.

Dissident groups say up to 200 people were killed during the crackdown.

Human rights groups throughout Asia are calling for the establishment of a UN fact-finding mission and human rights monitoring system in Burma.

Buddhist monks led last week's mass demonstrations in Rangoon calling for freedom and democracy in military-ruled Burma.

Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.

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