UNITED NATIONS — A day after members of the military regime in Burma belittled the imprisoned, democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, America's U.N. ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, yesterday called for the creation of "circumstances" that would allow her to have direct contact with the outside world, including by briefing the Security Council.
According to some reports, the U.N. envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, was granted an entry visa to Burma for early November, when he would be allowed to meet with Ms. Suu Kyi. Mr. Gambari is the only person except for her jailers who is allowed to have contact with Ms. Suu Kyi, who was elected in 1988. That election was later overturned by the junta, and Ms. Suu Kyi has been held in jail or under house arrest ever since.
The idea to demand that Ms. Suu Kyi address the Security Council was first suggested in a New York Sun editorial last week. Pro-democracy activists in and outside Burma are concerned that if the junta's generals allow the jailed leader to leave the country, she could be barred from returning. But the activists say she can address the council from inside Burma, via satellite.
America might lead demands for such a direct address, which would bypass the mechanism set up by the United Nations and in which Mr. Gambari would serves as the middle man to the authorities. However, China is expected to resist the idea, as it so far has opposed any council involvement in the country.
"It would be terrific for her to be in circumstances to come to the United Nations and to address the Security Council or other organs of this state," Mr. Khalilzad told the Sun yesterday. "We would like for her to be released, we would like for her to be able to be in circumstances that she can consult with her party members, with her leadership of the political movement, with experts, to be unencumbered and able to travel."
But state-run Burmese press outlets ran an editorial Sunday that aimed to belittle the opposition leader. "Auntie Suu, you should understand the nature of giving up something for achieving another that is 10 times more valuable and beneficial," a two-page editorial in several Burmese newspapers, including the New Light of Myanmar, said Sunday, according to the German news agency DPA. The editorial was signed by Chan Mya Aye, which is believed to be a pen name.
Mr. Gambari was last allowed to visit Ms. Suu Kyi during a September trip to Burma. After meeting with the junta leader, General Than Shwe, Mr. Gambari was allowed to see Ms. Suu Kyi once again. As a possible result of the negotiations, the junta named as deputy labor minister a retired major general, Aung Kyi, to be a "liaison minister" for dealing with the jailed pro-democracy leader.