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Suu Kyi's day out, meets mediator

Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi left her house on Thursday to meet a senior official.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2007 02:24 IST

Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi left her house on Thursday to meet a senior official, believed to be the liaison appointed by the junta to work with the opposition, an official said.



"She left her house at about 2:00 pm. She is likely to meet with the labour minister at a state guesthouse," the official said, referring to Aung Kyi, who was appointed to maintain relations with the Nobel Peace Prize winner.



Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest, last left her lakeside home on October 2, when she met UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari at a military guesthouse in Yangon.



Thursday would mark her first meeting with Aung Kyi, who was appointed following a recommendation by Gambari that the junta name an official to develop ties with Aung San Suu Kyi.



It comes amid increasing diplomatic pressure ahead of Gambari's expected second visit to Myanmar since the junta's violent crackdown on peaceful anti-government protests in September, which left at least 13 people dead.



Gambari, who is scheduled to arrive in the first week of November, will be followed by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN special rapporteur on human rights.



"Quite clearly they (the junta) need to show that they are meeting with her and they are talking with her," one Thailand-based analyst told AFP.



"The regime is quite clearly feeling the pressure and needs to respond to it, but at this point it has to be very clear -- a few token meetings are not good enough."



Officials from Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) said they were unaware of any meeting between their leader and the government.



Foreign diplomats also said they had no confirmation of a meeting between Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi, but did say they were encouraged by her departure from her home.



"It's about time to start" talks with the junta, said one western diplomat who did not want to be named. "We want genuine dialogue."