YANGON: One of Myanmar's most powerful leaders blamed Aung San Suu Kyi's party for violence last week in which at least four people were killed, a sign the military junta may not be willing to free the Nobel laureate from detention.
The comments by military intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, published in state newspapers yesterday just before he met a UN envoy who is in the country to secure Suu Kyi's release, are the first by a senior junta member on the May 30 violence.
The recent course of confrontation taken by the NLD (National League of Democracy) led to creating the untoward incidents, causing a great loss to the state.
Corrupt practices and the organisational work of the NLD instigated by foreign nations will not benefit the country, Khin Nyunt was quoted saying in a speech to officials at an airport opening ceremony on Friday.
Khin Nyunt held a one-hour meeting yesterday with Tan Sri Razali Ismail, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's envoy to Myanmar, but there was no immediate word on what was discussed.
After further meetings at the foreign ministry, Razali hinted the junta had not yet agreed to give him access to Suu Kyi.
I'm still talking to the government, he told reporters.
Diplomats had said the meeting with Khin Nyunt would be key to whether the junta would grant access to Suu Kyi, who, according to some reports, may have been injured in the clashes.
Razali met Foreign Minister Win Aung on Friday, but the envoy's aides said the junta's leader, Senior General Than Shwe, who will likely make any decision on Suu Kyi, was away from here.
The government often does not comment on Than Shwe's trips within the country or abroad until he returns.
Suu Kyi, the NLD leader and 1991 Nobel peace prize winner, has been held in undisclosed locations since violence erupted between her supporters and those favouring the junta as she toured a provincial town in the North.
The military says four people died and 50 were injured in the clashes, but dissidents in exile suspect as many as 75 of Suu Kyi's supporters were killed and hundreds injured.
They also say Suu Kyi received head and shoulder injuries.
The United States said on Thursday it suspected Suu Kyi and her convoy were ambushed by government-affiliated thugs.
The government denies this.
UN sources in New York said Razali's orders from Annan were to meet Suu Kyi and leaders of her NLD and said he would cut short his mission and leave Myanmar if these requests were denied.
He arrived here on Friday and is due to leave on June 10.
The United States, Britain and the European Union have said they are considering slapping more trade and investment sanctions on Myanmar as a result of Suu Kyi's treatment.
Washington said on Friday it had put more associates of the military rulers in Myanmar, formerly Burma, on a visa ban list. Reuters