UN chief denies receiving letter from British Prime Minister on Myanmar

09:30, March 17, 2010      

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United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday denied receiving a letter from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown requesting a meeting in New York to discuss Myanmar's electoral laws.

Ban made the comment to a group of journalists after a press conference held at UN headquarters in New York.

According to a statement by Brown on Wednesday the British government requested an emergency meeting at the UN to discuss a possible arms embargo against Myanmar, which recently announced new electoral laws for the first nationwide election to be held in 20 years.

"Burma has ignored the demands of the UN Security Council, the UN secretary-general, the U.S., EU (European Union) and its neighbors by imposing restrictive and unfair terms for the elections," Brown's statement said, using Myanmar's former name. " The targeting of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD is particularly vindictive and callous. We will also seek international support to impose an arms embargo against Burma."

"Burma's people are demanding political and economic freedom and the international community must stand by them," the statement added.

The United Nations is a member of the "Group of Friends on Myanmar," which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the EU, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and Norway.

The ruling Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), which has not yet set a date for nationwide elections, enacted five electoral laws, the state Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) reported last week.

These laws are Union Election Commission Law, Political Parties Registration Law, Pyithu Luttaw (People's Parliament) Election Law, Amyotha Hluttaw (National Parliament) Election Law and State or Division Parliament Election Law, the report said.

Last week, the UN secretary-general told reporters that the new electoral laws "do not measure up to our expectations of what is needed for an inclusive political process."

In a letter sent to Myanmar's military chief, Ban expressed his concern about the credibility of the elections and reiterated his call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Source: Xinhua
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