Myanmar Ban underlines need to release all remaining political prisoners

29 July 2011Releasing all remaining political prisoners is the single most important step that authorities in Myanmar can take, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, expressing hope that the Government of the Asian nation will soon take steps towards greater democracy. Mr. Ban spoke by telephone earlier today with U Wunna Maung Lwin, Myanmar’s Foreign Minister, just days after he welcomed a meeting between a Government minister and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and prominent opposition figure.Ms. Suu Kyi, who spent almost 15 years under house arrest during the past two decades, was released in November last year.In his conversation with the Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General “underlined that he had publicly welcomed the reform measures announced by the new Government,” according to information released by his spokesperson.“He hoped that the Government would now move toward concrete action and take the country forward towards peace, democracy and prosperity.”Mr. Ban also pressed for “early action” on releasing Myanmar’s remaining political prisoners, describing their release as the “single most important step the international community expected to take.”The Secretary-General also voiced his concern to the Foreign Minister about the ongoing violence involving some armed groups and the impact of that on civilians, saying the Government must resolve the situation peacefully.

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