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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 04:53 GMT 05:53 UK
Burmese junta appoints go-between
Aung San Suu Kyi, photographed receiving the UN's Ibrahim Gambari on 2 October
Aung San Suu Kyi is the face of Burma's pro-democracy movement
Burma's military rulers have appointed an official to liaise with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in an apparent concession to the UN.

Aung Kyi, a retired general serving as deputy labour minister, would "continue relations [with her] in the future", state TV said late on Monday.

The appointment was intended to achieve "smooth relations" with the detained leader, a state daily said on Tuesday.

A UN envoy visiting after September's bloody crackdown suggested the move.

Ibrahim Gambari was despatched to Burma after the military used force to end days of anti-government protests.

The government said 10 people died, but diplomats believe the toll was much higher. Thousands more are thought to have been detained.

A BBC correspondent has heard fresh accounts of the military's brutality.

Our correspondent, who spent three days undercover in Rangoon and met two fugitive monks, heard in one neighbourhood that the army had disposed of the bodies of monks killed during the crackdown by burning them in the local crematorium.

The military government is also reported to be holding monks in disused municipal buildings and even those who applauded the monks during their demonstrations are being hunted down.

The atmosphere in Burma's main city is tense and fearful, our correspondent adds.

Military demands

The Burmese government has not said when contacts with Ms Suu Kyi might begin.

Burma's military leader Gen Than Shwe
Gen Than Shwe heads the junta
Mr Gambari suggested appointing a liaison officer when he met Burma's military leader, Gen Than Shwe, last week.

The New Light of Myanmar, in an announcement on its front page, said that the government had agreed to the idea "in respect of Gambari's recommendation and in view of smooth relations with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi."

Daw is a polite way of addressing a woman.

Last week, the general said he was ready to meet Ms Suu Kyi if she dropped her support for international sanctions and abandoned what he called her confrontational attitude.

Previous attempts to build dialogue between the military and Aung San Suu Kyi have come to nothing.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a resounding victory in elections in 1990.

But the NLD has never been allowed to take power and Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for most of the past 18 years.

Undercover report from Burma by the BBC's Fergal Keane


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