United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday said he was optimistic that Myanmar is starting to move toward national reconciliation, and he urged the ruling military junta to agree on a timetable for change toward democracy. His comments came after his special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, returned to New York after meetings with the junta and opposition leaders. Meanwhile, the UN's rights envoy, Sergio Pinheiro, is now in the country to investigate the aftermath of September's violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

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