Former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong has urged Myanmar’s ruling generals during a visit to the country to ensure that elections due next year are free and fair, a report said Wednesday.
Goh, still a senior minister in Singapore, told junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe and Prime Minister Thein Sein not to ignore the global interest in the trial of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the Strait Times reported.
But he also said the case against the Nobel peace laureate – who faces up to five years in prison for violating the terms of her house arrest after a U.S. man swam to her lakeside home – was a domestic matter, the report said.
The city-state’s former prime minister met the two senior generals Tuesday, with each meeting lasting more than an hour, the newspaper said.
Goh’s spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted about the report.
Goh began his four-day visit to Myanmar on Monday amid international pressure on the military regime over the trial of Suu Kyi, who has spent 13 of the past 19 years in detention.
Singapore and Myanmar are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which issued a rare public criticism of the ruling junta in the former Burma after it put the pro-democracy icon on trial.
Last month Singapore said it was “dismayed” by the charges against her and urged the junta to release her.
The junta refused to recognize the landslide victory of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy in the country’s last democratic elections, in 1990.