Moon unlikely to meet Suu Kyi

YANGON: UN chief Ban Ki-moon is to meet the leader of Myanmar's military regime when he visits the country this week but is unlikely to see jailed democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an official said Wednesday.

Ban will hold talks with Senior General Than Shwe in the administrative capital Naypyidaw on Friday, the first day of his two-day trip, the Myanmar official said on condition of anonymity.

The start of the diplomatically risky visit coincides with the resumption of Aung San Suu Kyi's trial on charges of breaching the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam uninvited to her house in May.

But he is "unlikely" to meet the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, the official said -- despite an earlier report in a Japanese newspaper that the junta had given him permission to do so.

Ban flies into the commercial hub Yangon on Friday and will fly to Naypyidaw later that day for the meeting with Than Shwe, before returning to Yangon on Saturday and leaving the country that same evening, the official said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the details of the visit from the United Nations.

The UN Secretary General, who is currently in Tokyo, on Tuesday urged Myanmar to release all political prisoners including Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and resume dialogue with opposition leaders.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 64, faces up to five years in jail if convicted of the charges against her. Her trial is taking place at Yangon's notorious Insein prison, where she is currently being held.

The proceedings against her have drawn international condemnation, with US President Barack Obama describing it as a "show trial."

While acknowledging worries over the timing of his visit, Ban said in Tokyo that finding an appropriate time to visit Myanmar had been "a challenge" and said he wished to focus on relaying his message.

He will also call on the junta to hold democratic elections, which the regime has promised in 2010.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in detention or under house arrest for most of the time since the junta refused to recognise her party's landslide victory in Myanmar's last elections, in 1990.

Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962.