Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Envoy, met Myanmar pro-democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in November 2006. It was the first time that she was allowed to leave her house since her last meeting with Gambari in May 2006.
During the four-day visit to Myanmar, Gambari, who is the United Nations under Secretary for Political Affairs, also spoke with the officials of the ruling junta including the top leader, senior General than Shwe.
According to the United Nations statement, which was issued in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi told the envoy that she “welcomes continued engagement by the United Nations and hopes that it can be of help in addressing the many issues that have been raised by Gambari during his visit”.
Special envoys from the United Nations have visited Myanmar over the years but have had little effect on the conduct of the Junta, which took power in 1988 by crushing a popular uprising.
The generals then cancelled the results of a democratic election in 1990 when they lost to Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy. She is recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Nobel Peace Prize and Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
In early September, 2007, the army clamped on the Buddhist monks who had led massive demonstrations in protest against the authoritarian army rule. According to unconfirmed reports, many Buddhist monks were killed, a few escaped to Thailand. Sanctions have been imposed by USA but it has had very little impact on the army rule.
The two countries which can influence the army generals i.e., India and China, are reluctant to alienate the army junta for fear of losing the vast mineral resources of the country.
The ASEAN also is not faring any better either and no efforts are seriously being made to pressurise the army rulers to release Kyi or to go slow on their anti-people activities. A senior minister of the military Junta was accorded warm welcome by India in Jan. 2008.
She was visited by John Yettaw an American, who swam across the lake to see her. The army Junta clamped additional jail sentence on Aung San, and arrested Yettaw, who was later released at the intervention of US senator John Webb in mid 2009. The Americans now have changed their policy towards Myanmar from sanctions to reconciliation in 2010.