Are Aung San Suu Kyi’s injuries so serious that she could not be visited by Razali – just like the first few days of Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” episode in 1998?
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Friday): Myanmar's military rulers yesterday assured Thailand that the re-arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be temporary and that the junta remains committed to national reconciliation.
Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said he had received a letter from his Myanmar counterpart, Foreign Minister Win Aung, saying the actions taken against Suu Kyi and her supporters were for the sake of "security and safety".
Can the Myanmese military junta be trusted on its latest assurance, after over a decade of broken pledges and promises to restore democracy and work for national reconciliation in Burma, and when it is not prepared to give the world a true and factual account of the clashes last Friday in north Burma, claiming that four had died when eyewitnesses accounts have put the number of fatal casualties in the region between 60 to 80 people?
What credibility has the military junta, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), for the world to believe its assurance that the re-arrest of Suu Kyi and the detention of her supporters, the closure of offices of National League of Democracy, are only temporary, when the controlled press in Burma had not mentioned Suu Kyi’s re-arrest for the past week – with the front-page headline in Wednesday’s New Light of Myanmar proclaiming: “Central Committee for Iodine Deficiency Meets”?
If Suu kyi’s re-arrest was solely for her “security and safety”, why had the Myanmese military junta refused to announce in advance it readiness to allow the United Nations envoy to Burma, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, to visit the Nobel Peace Prize laureate on his arrival in Yangon today for a five-day scheduled visit?
Or is Suu Kyi, despite the official claim of the military junta of being unhurt, so injured that she could not be allowed access to any independent visitor, least of all the UN special envoy to Burma – just like the first few days of the “black eye” episode of the former Malaysian deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when he was first arrested by the police in September 1998 and was assaulted nearly to an inch of his life by the then Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor?
The claims of the Myanmese military junta that the re-arrest of Suu Kyi is only temporary and her “security and safety” must be categorically rejected by all ASEAN nations if Razali is not allowed to visit her in Yangon today to verify her condition.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman