08 May 2024, 21:53

Myanmar junta rebuffs Cambodia ex-leader's request to meet Suu Kyi

          YANGON, Myanmar, May  8, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Myanmar's junta on Wednesday
denied a request by former Cambodian leader Hun Sen for talks with democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since a 2021 coup.

       Suu Kyi has largely been hidden from view since the military detained her
as they seized power in a putsch that has plunged the country into turmoil.

       The junta has rebuffed numerous requests by foreign leaders and diplomats
to meet the Nobel laureate, 78, who has reportedly suffered health problems
during more than three years in detention.

       On Tuesday Hun Sen, who ruled Cambodia for nearly four decades before
stepping down last year, said he had requested a meeting with Suu Kyi during
video talks with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

       But the junta had "no reason to facilitate it at this moment," junta
spokesman Zaw Min Tun said in an audio message released by the military's
information team.

       The military would hold promised and much-delayed fresh elections "without
fail," he said, without giving details.

       "We are going to avoid matters which can delay or disturb future processes."
       Since her detention Suu Kyi's only known encounter with a foreign envoy
came in July last year, when the then Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai
said he had met her for over an hour.

       Suu Kyi is serving a 27-year sentence imposed by a junta court after a
trial condemned by rights groups as a sham to shut her out of politics.

       Last month the junta said she was being "given necessary care" as
temperatures in the military-built capital Naypyidaw, where she is believed to
be detained, hit around 40 degrees celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

       Zaw Min Tun also addressed Thai media reports that former Thai leader
Thaksin Shinawatra had recently held talks with several Myanmar ethnic armed
groups operating along their shared border.

       Some of those groups have given shelter and military training to those
fighting the junta's coup and have themselves clashed regularly with the

       "We assume that encouraging terrorists groups which destroy Myanmar
interests is not appropriate," Zaw Min Tun said.

       The military launched its coup citing unsubstantiated claims of massive
electoral fraud in 2020 elections won resoundingly by Suu Kyi's National League
for Democracy (NLD).

       It has pushed back a timetable to hold fresh polls several times.

       In March junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said it may not be able to hold polls
nationwide as it struggles to crush opposition to its rule.



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