Singapore urges reconciliation in Myanmar

Oct. 22, 2004 at 4:33 AM

SINGAPORE, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Singapore urged Myanmar Friday to stay the course on "national reconciliation," echoing comments by neighbors Thailand and China.

"Singapore hopes that Prime Minister Khin Nyunt's retirement will not affect the national reconciliation process there," Singapore's Foreign Ministry said in a one-paragraph statement Friday.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Thursday he hoped the Myanmar government would carry on the process of national reconciliation supported by the international community.

But Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the purge in Myanmar had hurt the collective image of Southeast Asian nations.

Yangon's secretive military fired Prime Minister Khin Nyunt earlier this week, consolidating hard-liner Senior General Than Shwe's hold on power.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said this week that Jakarta now had "much less hope" that Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, would be freed from house arrest.

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