Burma Update

Though UN Envoy Ibrahim Gambari was barred this week from meeting with the Burmese junta leader Than Shwe, it does seem that Gambari was able to secure a key concession from the Burmese regime. For the first time in three years, Suu Kyi will be able to meet with members of her party, the National League for Democracy. As Colum Lynch reports, “Thursday’s developments provided a relatively upbeat conclusion to a U.N. diplomatic mission to Burma…Only Wednesday, U.N. delegates voiced concern that Gambari’s six-day visit might end in failure because the Burmese leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, had refused to meet with him.”

There does, however, seem to be a limit to the Junta’s beneficence. Than Shwe still refuses to meet face to face with Suu Kyi. And according to Maggie Farley, the junta leader even refuses to call Suu Kyi by name, referring to her simply as “the lady.”

Next week, Gambari is expected to brief the Security Council on his trip. Sanctions seem to be off the table though, because China has already threatened a veto. Still, it seems the junta is beginning to respond to international pressure.