New UN envoy makes first visit to Myanmar


The UN’s new special envoy for Myanmar began her first trip to the country yesterday, a day after a junta court sentenced ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to six more years in jail for corruption.

Noeleen Heyzer “will focus on addressing the deteriorating situation and immediate concerns as well as other priority areas of her mandate”, according to a UN statement issued late Monday.

It did not give details on who she would meet among the junta’s top leadership or whether she would seek to meet Suu Kyi.

Heyzer landed in the sprawling military-built capital Naypyidaw yesterday afternoon, said security officials who requested anonymity.

A schedule for her trip has not been released but she is expected to hold meetings in Naypyidaw, according to a diplomatic source who did not give further details.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis led by the UN and Asean regional bloc have made little headway, with the generals refusing to engage with opponents.

The generals had “repeatedly disregarded calls by Asean leaders for concrete and inclusive dialogue for national reconciliation”, Malaysia’s foreign minister said yesterday.

Singaporean sociologist Heyzer was appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last year, replacing Swiss diplomat Christine Schraner Burgener. — AFP

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