Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Burma junta official meets Aung San Suu Kyi

By Alastair Leithead
BBC Asia Correspondent, Bangkok

Aung San Suu Kyi at Inya Lake Hotel after meeting US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on 4 November 2009
Aung San Suu Kyi has lodged an appeal to be released

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met a government minister in Rangoon in the third such meeting since the beginning of October.

Her meeting with labour minister Aung Kyi lasted 45 minutes but no details of what they discussed have been released.

Ms Suu Kyi has been detained for 14 of the last 20 years and her latest term of house arrest was extended earlier this year.

This means she will not be able to run in elections due to be held next year.


The Burmese government appears to be more open to dealing with the international community - high level American representatives have visited the country to meet senior generals and opposition leaders to push President Barack Obama's policy of engagement.

The European Union also recently expressed a wish to work more closely with the ruling generals.

Amid all these talks Ms Suu Kyi has been opening up her own dialogue.

This meeting is the third with labour minister Aung Kyi, the government's liaison officer, and follows a letter Ms Suu Kyi wrote to the country's leader General Than Shwe, asking to meet him and to work more closely with the state.

She has recently been studying international sanctions imposed on Burma.

They would be part of any deal to release political prisoners - Ms Suu Kyi is just one of more than 2,000 being held.

It is thought the government is keen to ensure the election is seen to be legitimate, even if there are serious concerns over whether they will be free or fair.

But in a timely reminder of her fragile position, editorials in the state-run media spoke critically of Ms Suu Kyi, suggesting she had been "dishonest" in her dealings with the ruling generals and was deliberately trying to tarnish their image.

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