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UN asked to recognise 1990 election winners

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Thailand and Myanmar:
A Tale of Two Charters

September 10, 2008

Myanmar: UN asked to recognise 1990 election winners
The pro-democracy winners of Myanmar's 1990 elections asked the UN secretary-general Tuesday to recognize their own representatives in place of those of the current military rulers at the United Nations, reported the Associated Press.

A letter from candidates elected to parliament in 1990 challenged the legitimacy of the military government that refused to cede power after a landslide victory by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. The junta has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, ever since.

Daw San San, vice president of the Members of Parliament Union (Burma), said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press that the organization has set up a permanent mission to the United Nations and has appointed U Thein Oo as its permanent representative to the U.N.

"His excellency U Thein Oo is instructed to represent the people of Burma and the legitimate, democratically elected members of parliament in all organs of the United Nations," San said. Oo was identified as an elected representative from Mandalay.

Brendan Varma, a UN spokesman, said the letter had been received by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office and would be studied.

Myanmar's UN Mission said Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe was not in his office to comment.

The 63rd session of the General Assembly will open on September 16, a week before world leaders arrive for their annual ministerial meeting, and San's letter could be referred to the
assembly's credentials committee.

The military has ruled Myanmar since 1962 and has been widely criticised for suppressing basic freedoms. The current junta, which took power in 1988 after crushing pro-democracy
demonstrations, held general elections in 1990 but refused to cede power to Suu Kyi's NLD. Since then, the country has been in political deadlock.

Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest for more than 12 of the past 18 years. For about the last three weeks, the 63-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has refused daily food deliveries to her home to protest her ongoing detention, her party said.

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