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February 15, 10

NEWS / Myanmar: Ban welcomes release of leading opposition politician

13 February 2010 Ė Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the release today of a prominent opposition politician in Myanmar after six years of house arrest, saying he hopes the move will lead to a more credible and inclusive political process.

U Tin Oo, the Vice-Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) was released today in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, after the expiration of his term of house arrest.

The release comes two days before the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is due to arrive in the Asian nation for a five-day official visit.

"The Secretary-General hopes that this development will contribute to the advancement of substantive dialogue between the NLD and the Government of Myanmar as a necessary step towards a more credible and inclusive political process," according to a statement issued by a spokesperson for Mr. Ban.

"To that end, the Secretary-General reiterates his call on the Government of Myanmar to lift without further delay the restrictions on NLD General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and to release all remaining political prisoners."

Mr. Quintana said last week that he hopes to be able to meet Ms. Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest, during his visit.

The first elections in Myanmar in more than two decades are slated to take place later this year as part of a Government-designed timetable towards greater democratization.




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