U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is
"deeply disappointed" that Burma's military leader rejected his request to meet
with jailed democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Speaking Saturday, toward
the end of his two-day trip to Burma, Mr. Ban said the country's authorities
have missed a "very important opportunity." He also urged them to stop their
prosecution of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on trial for allegedly violating the
terms of her house arrest.
Mr. Ban met twice with Burma's senior general
Than Shwe during the trip.
The U.N. chief also visited a village in the
Irrawaddy delta area that was hit hard by cyclone Nargis. Mr. Ban played a key
role in persuading Burma's leaders to allow international aid workers into the
area after the disaster last year.
Aung San Suu Kyi's trial was scheduled
to resume Friday, the day of Mr. Ban's arrival, but was postponed for a
The charges against her stem from a May visit by an American
intruder who swam to her lakeside home uninvited. She says she permitted him to
rest overnight after he said he was suffering from exhaustion.
convicted, she could face a five-year prison term.
The world community
has called the trial a sham, intended to keep her in prison through the 2010
elections. Previous U.N. efforts to obtain Aung San Suu Kyi's release have
failed. She has been in detention for 13 of the last 19 years.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and