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UN Envoy Meets Burmese Military Government, Pro-Democracy Leader

  • VOA News

Diplomats say a senior UN envoy has met with Burma's military rulers and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit aimed at stopping a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

They say Ibrahim Gambari met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday for about 90 minutes at a government-run guest house in Rangoon. The Nobel Peace laureate has been under house arrest for more than a decade and is rarely granted visitors.

Gambari arrived in Burma Saturday and spent the night in the country's new administrative capital, Naypyidaw, where he met leaders of the military government. Details of his meetings have not been released.

The United Nations sent Gambari to Burma after government soldiers opened fire on thousands of monks and other pro-democracy protesters earlier in the week.

Burma's government says 10 people were killed, but witnesses say many more died.

A Japanese photographer, Kenji Nagai was among the victims. He was shot dead by a Burmese soldier during a protest Thursday.

Japan's deputy foreign minister,Mitoji Yabunaka traveled to Burma on Sunday to press for democratic reforms and to demand a formal investigation into the photographer's death.

The demonstrations began last month after the government abruptly doubled fuel prices. Burma's revered monks then took the lead in the demonstrations, turning them into a widespread protest against 45 years of oppressive military rule.

Thousands of security forces are patrolling Rangoon on Sunday to prevent activists from taking to the streets again.

Pope Benedict expressed serious concern on Sunday about the situation in Burma and said he strongly hoped that a peaceful solution would be found.

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