- - Sunday, November 20, 2011

MYANMAR

Suu Kyi to participate in upcoming elections

YANGON — Myanmar’s democracy champion, Aung San Suu Kyi, plans to take part in Myanmar’s upcoming by-elections, her spokesman said Monday, after her party decided to rejoin the official political arena.

“Daw Suu said she intends to take part in the election,” Nyan Win, spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), told Agence France-Presse. “Daw” is a term of respect in Myanmar.

Mrs. Suu Kyi hinted that she would run for office at a meeting of party delegates Friday, when they decided to reregister as a political party and contest the elections after boycotting last year’s vote.

CAMBODIA

U.N.-backed trial begins for top Khmer Rouge

PHNOM PENH — Three top leaders of Cambodia’s 1970s “killing fields” regime began Monday to be tried in some of the 20th-century’s worst atrocities.

The senior Khmer Rouge leaders’ trial opened Monday in a U.N.-backed tribunal in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The proceedings come more than 30 years after the reign of terror that killed an estimated 1.7 million people.

The charges against the elderly leaders of the communist movement include crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture. The defendants are 85-year-old Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge’s chief ideologist; 80-year-old Khieu Samphan, an ex-head of state; and 86-year-old Ieng Sary, the former foreign minister.

PHILIPPINES

Calm prevails after ex-president’s arrest

MANILA — It has been business as usual in the Philippines, with no army unrest or fears of massive street protests despite the dramatic arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and a looming legal battle by her attorneys to seek her release, officials said Sunday.

Backers of the ailing Mrs. Arroyo, who was arrested at a Manila hospital Friday on election-tampering charges, have accused President Benigno Aquino III’s administration of filing the criminal complaint “with indecent haste” to prevent her from leaving the country.

But Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, an Aquino political adviser, said the relative calm accompanying Mrs. Arroyo’s arrest underscored her low popularity.

Mrs. Arroyo, who won a seat in the House of Representatives after her stormy nine-year presidency ended last year, once had strong ties to a group of loyal army generals who shielded her from four failed coup attempts sparked by a series of corruption scandals. All have since retired.

TURKEY

Turkish president in Britain to seek support for EU bid

ISTANBUL — Turkish President Abdullah Gul headed to Britain on Sunday for a three-day state visit aimed at seeking support from Turkey’s ally in its bid to join the European Union.

“I will underline the importance of England’s continued support in making sure negotiations are not blocked by artificial political obstacles,” Mr. Gul told journalists in Turkey before flying off to London.

Ankara opened membership negotiations with the EU in 2005, but progress has been slow, in part because of opposition from Germany and France. Mr. Gul said in comments published in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph that his country is still keen to join the bloc even as the eurozone crisis spreads.

One of the key sticking points to entry is Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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