Razali Ismail, the United Nations special envoy to Burma, is a devoted practitioner of quiet diplomacy. His subtle prodding was widely credited with persuading Burma's military junta to free, in May last year, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. So it was a surprise when, in late April, the Malaysian diplomat told reporters in Bangkok he was "perplexed and disappointed" with the generals' refusal to grant him a visa for the past six months so that he could try to foster dialogue between the two sides: "I really...

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