UN envoy extends visit to Myanmar to promote democratic reform

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, hoping to promote democratic reform in Myanmar, is extending his five-day visit until Saturday in an apparent effort to meet detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi failed to appear at a scheduled meeting Wednesday amid speculation that she may be dissatisfied with the United Nations' hitherto fruitless efforts to affect change in the military-ruled nation. Gambari's five earlier visits beginning in mid-2006 failed to forge either a dialogue between Suu Kyi and the military or to secure her release from more than 12 years under house arrest. Gambari has usually met Suu Kyi on previous trips. A government official, who demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said that Gambari would depart Myanmar on Saturday rather than Friday as originally scheduled.