The denial of an appeal against the August 2009 sentencing of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been condemned by UK foreign minister Ivan Lewis. “In his statement this morning on the verdict, Mr Lewis said: ‘The rejection of Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal is a further, sad indictment of the Burmese regime. The military government continues to suppress all dissent, deny Burma’s people their fundamental freedoms, and detain democratic and ethnic leaders. I urge the regime to recognise that in a country of over one hundred ethnic groups, there can be no national reconciliation, no peace and no prosperity without an inclusive political process. The elections planned for later this year present an historic opportunity to reverse Burma’s bitter decline into poverty and international isolation. The UK government will continue to do all it can to press them to seize this opportunity. The EU and the entire international community stand ready to respond quickly and positively to tangible progress.’ Mr Lewis’ statement supported the earlier announcement from Prime Minister Gordon Brown who said: ‘I am appalled and saddened that Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal against the sentence imposed by the regime has been denied. That failed appeal is sadly no surprise.’”