//Rights groups' plea to Centre on Kalam's Myanmar visit

Rights groups' plea to Centre on Kalam's Myanmar visit

NEW DELHI: Representatives of civil society organisations, human rights groups and political parties urged the Centre to postpone the visit of President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to Myanmar scheduled for March 2006 until the ruling junta released Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Participating in a seminar on “India’s Role for National Reconciliation in Burma” here on Tuesday, they wanted the State Peace and Development Council in Myanmar to allow `full and unrestricted access’ to the United Nations Special Envoy and Special Rapporteur. The seminar was co-sponsored by the Asian Centre for Human Rights and Mizzima News.

Revolutionary Socialist Party MP Abani Roy, who is a member of the recently formed Indian Parliamentary Forum for Democracy in Burma said: “Our forum will try arranging a meeting with Mr. Kalam to urge him not to go to Myanmar unless the SPDC releases Ms. Suu Kyi, and unless President Kalam is allowed to talk about the restoration of democracy in the country."

Participants endorsed a declaration, calling upon the Centre to urge the SPDC to enter into a substantive and structured dialogue with Ms. Suu Kyi, and other members of political parties and representatives of ethnic minorities on restoration of democracy and national reconciliation in Burma.