Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi in 'remarkable form'

Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in “remarkable form” during a meeting with Western diplomats, UK ambassador Andrew Heyn said today.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner met representatives from the United States, Britain and Australia to discuss sanctions imposed on Burma after being given special permission from the country’s military regime.

It came after Ms Suu Kyi sent a letter to junta leader Senior General Than Shwe saying she was ready to cooperate with the government to have the sanctions lifted.

After the meeting, Mr Heyn told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “She was in remarkable form for someone who has been through what she has been through.

“She was very, very engaged in the subject, very interested in going into the detail of what she wanted to talk about, and she seemed, as ever, very eloquent and very, very engaged.”

Asked about the prospect of sanctions against Burma being lifted, Mr Heyn said the international community wanted to see progress on human rights and democracy.

“From the British government’s point of view, we believe that sanctions send a strong political message to the Burmese authorities about our real determination to see genuine democratic reform in Burma,” he told the programme.

“The fact is that the regime make a very public point of complaining about sanctions, which suggests to us that they are having an effect.

“But what we have also made clear is that we will respond to substantive progress towards democracy in respect of human rights but we have to see concrete progress on the ground.”

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