UN's Gambari Denied A Meeting
with Suu Kyi, Not by Than Shwe But The Lady
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, August 25 --
While the UN couldn't quite bring itself to admit it on Monday, it
that Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi rebuffed even accepting a visit
envoy Ibrahim Gambari during his six day
visit that ended over the weekend.
Given that she's still under house arrest, it's not that she was busy.
that Gambari's visits have morphed from being a matter of possible hope
being part of the problem. As happens with the UN, its involvement
impression that something is being done, without oppression actually
From the transcript
of Monday's UN noon briefing --
Spokesperson Okabe: Matthew?
City Press: Now that Ibrahim Gambari has left Myanmar, can it be
way or another whether he didn’t meet with Aung San Suu Kyi because she
rebuffed him or because the Government didn't allow it?
Spokesperson: It was Mr. Gambari's
intention to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, as he did on all previous
the Government made arrangements for such a meeting.
To his regret, the meeting did not take
place. We’re not going to speculate as
to why she was not able to attend the meeting. But
Mr. Gambari did meet her party, the NLD
[National League for
Democracy] party, twice. Mr. Gambari
impressed on both the Government and the NLD the need for early
dialogue, and made specific suggestions to that end.
City Press: Thank you, that’s helpful. If,
as several NLD people say, she rebuffed him
because she feels that
the visits are no longer useful given the lack of movement on the
side, what is the UN response to that critique?
Gambari with Ban Ki-moon: why don't we just pretend...
Spokesperson: Well, first of all, I just
mentioned to you that we do not want to speculate at this time. As you know, Mr. Gambari is in transit now,
he is still completing his visit and he will be briefing the
on the outcome of his visit. And in
terms of how we… What was the second part of your question?
City Press: Regardless of whether she
met with, whether reason for not meeting with him was this, there is
critique out there that says that his visits are not accomplishing
so, I guess, does he feel that? Did he
Spokesperson: Mr. Gambari has told us
that he has had extensive and open discussions with the Government and
interlocutors, which in itself is necessary in order to broaden and
process as expected by the Secretary-General. We
have been saying all along that the
Secretary-General’s good offices
is a process, not an event. One should
not make a judgment on the process based on each individual visit. The Secretary-General himself has made clear
upon returning from his own visits that he expects his good offices to
and broaden through the continued engagement of his Special Adviser.
City Press: Thanks, and this will be the last one, I mean at least for
me. Does the outcome of this visit make it
or less likely that Ban Ki-moon will go there in December, as Gambari
quoted by the NLD as having said?
Spokesperson: The answer to that
question, I think, I answered last week and that has not changed. The Secretary-General has expressed his
intention to go back when conditions are right. As
we said, the Secretary-General made clear that he
expects his good
offices to deepen and broaden through the continued engagement of his
and that is also part of Mr. Gambari’s mission -- to prepare for any
visits by the Secretary-General.
While Ban would love to be seen as solving
Asian problem, the
Lady's integrity is suddenly a wild card. What's next?
site. And this (on