Myanmar gets the message, U.N. says

Dec. 3, 2010 at 11:35 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The military junta in Myanmar needs to consider political transformation that includes elements previously excluded from the government, a U.N. official said.

Vijay Nambiar, the U.N. special envoy to Myanmar, said he was encouraged by the openness exhibited by military authorities in Myanmar, adding he was allowed to meet with anybody he wanted to in the country.

Myanmar recently released Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. The release, however, followed a general election that world leaders brushed off as a sham.

Several political parties were disbanded ahead of the election, including Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

Rights groups, meanwhile, complain there are more than 2,000 political prisoners still behind bars.

Nambiar said he felt there was a role for the United Nations to play in encouraging political reform and socioeconomic development in the country.

"I did sense that the government did receive my message," he told U.N. Radio. "Now what they do is to be seen."

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