The United Nations special envoy Razali Ismail failed to persuade Burma’s military junta to release detained pro-democracy leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi was recently placed under house arrest after being discharged from the hospital after undergoing major surgery. According to the Washington Post, Suu Kyi was held for three months in an undisclosed location before her surgery and has been under house arrest since returning from the hospital.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Burma’s junta to free Suu Kyi. According to the Washington Post, Annan stated, “The three-year-old home-grown process of national reconciliation, as understood by the United Nations, has come to a complete halt” due to Suu Kyi’s arrest and “unless the parties concerned are able to engage in substantive dialogue, the international community will have to conclude that the home-grown national reconciliation process no longer exists.”
Suu Kyi also endured house arrest from 1989 to 1995 after she emerged as a leader of the pro-democracy opposition movement. The military regime refused to honor the results of the 1990 election during which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) garnered an overwhelming majority of the popular vote.