UN: Burma Must Release Remaining Political Prisoners

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations Secretary General says Burma's government must release all remaining political prisoners as its first priority in improving its relations with the international community.

According to a U.N. statement, Ban Ki-moon said Friday it was the “single most important step” the government should take. He welcomed the government's recent reform measures, and said he hoped they would lead soon to “concrete action” that will bring progress towards peace, democracy, and prosperity.

The statement said Mr. Ban also voiced his approval of the Burmese government's meeting this week with democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi met with Labor Minister Aung Kyi Monday at a government house in Rangoon, her first high-level government meeting since her release from house arrest in November.

The Secretary General made the comments to Burma Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin in a phone call.

Burma elected a civilian government last year to take over from the long-standing military rulers.

But the opposition and human rights officials say the military is still in charge under the guise of an elected civilian administration.