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Myanmar agrees to visit from UN rights expert

[JURIST] Myanmar agreed Monday to accept a visit by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official profile] ahead of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [official website] summit meetings next month. Pinheiro has been blocked from visiting Myanmar since 2003. The announcement came as UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari [official profile], continued his tour of the region after visiting the country [JURIST report] earlier this month. Gambari plans to return to Myanmar in November in order to continue efforts to encourage the country's military junta to move towards democratization and reconciliation.

The decision to allow Pinheiro to visit comes shortly after the government lifted a curfew [JURIST report] in the capital Yangon and ended a ban on assembly imposed during the junta's deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests last month. Observers suggest that the move reflects the military's confidence that they have in fact quashed the country's largest pro-democracy uprising in two decades. The UN News Service has more.

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