BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2007, 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK
UN envoy sees top Burma dissident
Soldiers and demonstrators in Rangoon, 29/09/07
There is a very heavy military presence in Rangoon

UN envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari has met detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the main city of Rangoon.

Mr Gambari is attempting to mediate between Burma's junta and the opposition, and end a bloody crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests.

Earlier, he met some of the country's military leaders in the new capital Naypyidaw, and has now returned there for further talks.

He has yet to see senior general Than Shwe or his deputy.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy easily won elections in 1990, but these were annulled by the junta.

Monks detained

Mr Gambari is believed to be the first foreigner to meet Ms Suu Kyi for 10 months.

They've managed to stamp a picture of normality, but only with a heavy military presence
UK Ambassador Mark Canning on government crackdown in Rangoon

A UN statement said they spent over an hour in talks, at a government guest house near the villa where she is kept under house arrest.

Mr Gambari earlier met Burma's acting prime minister, deputy foreign minister and ministers of information and culture.

A statement said he "looks forward to meeting" Gen Than Shwe, who heads the military council that runs the government.

Burma has seen almost two weeks of sustained popular unrest.

But the number of protesters on the streets is now much smaller than at the height of the rallies, and the Buddhist monks who led the initial protests are now being prevented from leaving their monasteries.

Witnesses say one person was shot dead overnight when the military raided a monastery in Rangoon, detaining around 60 monks.

A woman told the BBC people got angry after seeing monks being thrown into a truck.

Ibrahim Gambari - file picture
Mr Gambari is looking for a political solution to the crisis
"One young man got up and shouted - they shot him. His wife came running after him - they slapped her. They took the body away and drove away," she said.

UK Ambassador Mark Canning told the BBC there were around 15,000 troops in Rangoon, and there had been no reports of further protests there on Sunday.

"They've managed to stamp a picture of normality, but only with a heavy military presence," he said.

A correspondent in Rangoon - who must remain anonymous for her own safety - said people were too scared to do anything with so many military around after seeing them shooting women, children and monks.

But she said people assured her that the demonstrations would continue.

Rare criticism

The government says 10 people were killed last week in the suppression of the opposition protests.

Religious sites sealed off by troops in Rangoon

Diplomats and activists say the number killed was many times higher.

The country's leadership usually ignores outside pressure.

But the crackdown has prompted rare criticism from China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), of which Burma is a member.

A Japanese envoy is also due to arrive in the country, to ensure a full investigation into the death of Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai.

Video of his death last Wednesday appears to show a soldier shooting him at close range as security forces cleared central Yangon of protesters.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Streets quiet as Burma's military takes command



RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific