Concerned at arrests in Myanmar, Annan says dialogue is key to reconciliation

Concerned at arrests in Myanmar, Annan says dialogue is key to reconciliation

Voicing concern at the arrests by the Myanmar authorities of 12 members of opposition parties, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today reiterated his strong belief that national reconciliation should begin with a constructive dialogue between the Myanmar authorities and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

"For such a constructive dialogue to move forward, the opposition parties, including NLD [the National League for Democracy], should be able to engage freely in political activities in Myanmar," said a statement released by a spokesman for Mr. Annan.

The Secretary-General once again urged the Myanmar authorities to release without delay all political prisoners, and to engage in substantive political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the spokesman said. Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, Razali Ismail is facilitating such dialogue.

The 12 people arrested include 7 members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as Sai Nyunt Lwin, the Secretary-General of the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD), according to the statement.