YANGON – Japan’s senior vice foreign minister met with Myanmar’s military leaders Monday in Yangon in a bid to seek the release of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Following his arrival for a one-day visit, Tetsuro Yano held more than an hour of talks with intelligence chief Gen. Khin Nyunt, secretary of the ruling State Peace and Development Council.
Myanmar Foreign Minister Win Aung was present at the meeting.
Yano also met separately with Home Affairs Minister Col. Tin Hlaing to ask the junta to release Suu Kyi, who has been in “protective custody” since a clash between her supporters and junta supporters in Depei-yin in northern Myanmar on May 30.
Several other top leaders of her National League for Democracy have also been detained since the incident.
Said to be in Myanmar’s notorious Insein Prison, Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has not been allowed to meet outside visitors since her detention except U.N. special envoy Razali Ismail on June 10. It is unlikely Yano will be able to meet with her.
Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the ASEAN Regional Forum demanded last week that Myanmar’s ruling generals release Suu Kyi, an unprecedented call by ASEAN for one of its own to put its domestic political house in order.
ASEAN, which groups Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei with Myanmar, has in the past avoided criticizing the domestic policies of any individual member.
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