Even if [UN Special Envoy Ibrahim] Gambari does return to Burma in April, he may have little to do there.During previous visits, he was virtually a prisoner of the government and stayed in isolated Naypyidaw, following a regime-ordained itinerary that included attendance at a rally in Shan State denouncing September’s pro-democracy uprising.Aside from earning him frequent flyer mileage on his Asian tours, Gambari’s mission is as dead as Burma’s pro-democracy movement. The diplomatic jargon and the endless repetition of such clichés as “tangible results,” “turning a new page” and “cautious optimism” no longer have any meaning. The mission is over.

– Extracted from Aung Zaw, “Gambari’s Mission is Dead in the Water”, The Irrawaddy, 20 February 2008.