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UN Myanmar envoy meets with Suu Kyi, military leader

[JURIST] UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari met with opposition leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi [JURIST news archive] and with top Myanmar military leader Senior General Than Shwe [BBC profile] during separate meetings Tuesday to discuss the rising political crisis in Myanmar, according to reports from foreign diplomats. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest [JURIST report] on Sunday for a short meeting with Gambari, but was not allowed to meet with Shwe or any other military junta leaders at that time. Gambari has faced criticism from the self-styled Myanmar government in exile in Bangkok, saying Gambari's mission in Myanmar has been too weak and that the visit cannot be "fruitful" unless Gambari can arrange a meeting between Suu Kyi and Shwe.

Last Wednesday, the Myanmar government began a crackdown against protesters [JURIST report], arresting hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against human rights abuses by the military government. On Thursday, Myanmar authorities raided several Buddhist monasteries, detaining monks [JURIST report] the junta believed to be leading the demonstrations. At least 10 people have been killed by government soldiers shooting into crowds; protests subsided over the weekend as troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. While the junta government reports only 10 deaths, dissident groups claim that 200 people have been executed and 6,000 detained. Recent reports by the UK Daily Mail indicate that the executions of protesters in fact number in the thousands [CBC report], and that security forces have been ordered to carry out the massacre of monks in Myanmar. AP has more.

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