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Win Tin rejects election talks with UN envoy

Jan 26, 2009 (DVB), Senior National League for Democracy member Win Tin has said the party will not discuss the 2010 elections with United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari when he visits Burma this week.

Gambari is due to visit Burma from 31 January to 3 February, his fifth visit to the country since the government's violent crackdown on public demonstrations in September 2007.

During his last visit, he was not able to meet with junta leader senior general Than Shwe or detained NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi and was criticised for the lack of tangible progress made.

Win Tin said he did not have high expectations for the special envoy's upcoming visit.

"[Gambari] has made a lot of visits to Burma in the past but they have barely made any impact," Win Tin said.

"Recently, he reached the point where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wouldn’t even receive him. I don't expect any significant results from this visit either," he said.

"If he does nothing more than what he does usually on his trips; talking nonsense, visiting places the government wants him to visit and seeing people the government wants him to see, then we would support him but without much appreciation."

Win Tin said the UN envoy would be welcome to discuss the problems with the constitution adopted by the military regime in 2008, but the NLD would not participate in talks about the planned 2010 elections.

"If the UN wants to give us their opinions and tell us their concerns about the 2008 constitution, we would at least like to listen to them," Win Tin said.

"We would strongly encourage the UN if they will put in the effort for negotiations on this issue," he said.

"But if they are only here to talk about the elections, then we won’t listen to them."

NLD members were disappointed that Gambari raised the issue of the 2010 election during his last visit, and said they could not support an election held on the basis of the 2008 constitution.

Win Tin also criticised the UN officials who called out to Aung San Suu Kyi with a loudspeaker from in front of her house last year, saying that they violated diplomatic ethics.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw