sábado, 2 de octubre de 2010

Myanmar junta boss visits Laos: official

Myanmar's junta leader Senior General Than Shwe arrived in communist Laos Friday and briefed the neighbour on preparations for his country's first elections in two decades, an official said.

"He arrived this morning," Khenthong Nuanthasing, the Laos government spokesman, told AFP.

Khenthong described the three-day visit, Than Shwe's third to the country, as "a friendly, official visit" focused on the two countries' ties.

Than Shwe, 77, landed in Laos a day after officials in his country said democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will be released in November, just days after the elections.

Suu Kyi's release was not discussed when Than Shwe met Laotian counterpart President Choummaly Sayasone, Khenthong said.

"But of course the senior general reported to the Laos president on current preparations for the election," he said.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, has been detained for most of the last 20 years since winning the country's last poll in 1990. She will be freed when her current house arrest expires on November 13, the unnamed sources said.

The election is on November 7.

Neither Suu Kyi nor her National League for Democracy (NLD) party will participate in the vote, which opponents have dismissed as a sham aimed at hiding military power behind a civilian facade.

On Saturday Than Shwe will visit southern Laos "to observe socio-economic development," Khenthong said.

A Myanmar official in the capital Naypyidaw described the trip as "just a goodwill visit."