Tin Oo An Suah Fel Zo

Kawlram acozah ih hrentangmi Aung San Suu Kyi ih deputy cu kum (7) sung thawng a tlaknak ihsin tui (Saturday) ah zalennak pek a si.

NLD chairman Tin Oo (83) hi kan dung 2003 ah khan Suu Kyi thawn ram thansohnak ding ih an khualtlannak ih bomb puak ih mi 70 lenglo an thih tum ah  thawngthlak in kaihrem ta a si. Kawlram a cozah cun UN envoy a ra thlen hlan ah tin Tin Oo hi an rak suah a si.##

YANGON — Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s second-in-command relished his first taste of freedom for seven years Sunday after the ruling junta freed him from detention ahead of elections this year. The release late Saturday of Tin Oo, 83, the vice chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), came shortly before a United Nations envoy was due to visit the military-ruled nation to examine its progress on human rights.

Tin Oo was to visit the fabled Shwe Dagon pagoda in Yangon on Sunday and vowed to be at the offices of the NLD the next day — ignoring an official warning to shun activities that would “disturb” the country after his release. “They (the authorities) also told me not to take actions which can disturb the building of the state. But I will continue my duty as vice chairman of the party,” he said at his home after he was freed. The retired army general said he believed that Suu Kyi would “soon” also be freed, after spending most of the last 20 years in detention and having had her house arrest extended last year to exclude her from the upcoming elections.

Tin Oo had been held since 2003 when he and Suu Kyi were arrested after a pro-regime mob attacked their motorcade during a political tour, killing 70 people. He spent the first year in jail and the rest under house arrest. The government said a restriction order imposed on him under anti-subversion laws had expired on Saturday. UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed Tin Oo’s release, saying he hoped the development “will contribute to the advancement of substantive dialogue between the NLD and the government of Myanmar.”

The United Nations human rights envoy for Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is due to start a five-day trip to Myanmar on Monday and expects to meet the foreign minister, but not reclusive junta leader Senior General Than Shwe. Quintana has said he also wants to see Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 64. In London, British Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis welcomed the news of Tin Oo’s release and urged the junta to allow all political groups to take part in the planned elections.

“It is essential that the regime now grant Aung San Suu Kyi’s request to meet with the leadership of the National League for Democracy so they can function as a political party,” Lewis said.Tin Oo was a former army general who was forced into retirement in the 1970s after falling foul of the country’s military rulers.He and Suu Kyi later helped lead the NLD to a landslide victory in Myanmar’s last national elections, in 1990, which the junta refused to recognise.Tin Oo is likely to play a key role in deciding whether the NLD will take part in the upcoming elections, promised by the junta this year as part of a so-called roadmap to democracy.But he said that there was no decision by the party yet.

“Regarding to the 2010 matter, the NLD cannot say whether it will participate or not. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has also said that it’s early to decide,” he said.No date has been set for the vote, the government has not yet published election laws and critics say the plans are simply designed to entrench the generals’ power.Reclusive junta leader Than Shwe said in a speech on Friday that the elections would be free and fair and would be held “soon.” Analysts predict they will take place in October or November.Myanmar’s 2008 constitution — pushed through in a referendum days after a cyclone killed 138,000 people — bans Suu Kyi from holding office, while reserving a quarter of the seats in parliament for the military.

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