11/02/2005, 00.00
Send to a friend

Talks on constitution to resume in December

The international community views the undertaking as mere deception

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Talks aimed at drawing up a new constitution for Myanmar are set to resume in December. The talks were suspended on 31 March. The news was announced by Lieutenant-General Thein Sein who is directing the talks. "The National Convention will resume on December 5 in Nyaunghnapin camp in Hmawby township outside Yangon," he said. The drafting of a new constitution is the first of seven points drawn up by the military government of one-time Burma to pave the way for democracy.

The European Union, the United States of America, the United Nations and human groups have dismissed the democracy plan as a mere propaganda ploy. The constitution talks themselves are considered a deception, given that they have been dragged out for more than 10 years and are boycotted by the main opposition party, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. Suu Kyi herself has been under house arrest since March 2003, for the third time.

Analysts say the government is not pressuring delegates to speed up the drafting of the constitution: so far, only three out of 16 chapters planned have been approved. Meanwhile, discussions, according to a statement by the Information Minister, Brigadier General Kyaw Hsann, will be suspended every two months, to allow delegates time to get on with their private affairs.

The Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister declared that the junta will follow its chosen direction notwithstanding external pressure. A month ago, the former president of Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel and the South African archbishop, Desmond Tutu, presented a report to the UN Security Council, urging the international community to take steps against Myanmar.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Referendum: the people support the 'no' vote; all religious excluded from the balloting
Myanmar: has Than Shwe been ousted from power?
Political shake-up does not stop new constitution
Burmese military junta arrests another leader connected to Aung San Suu Kyi
Junta arrests more than 20 anti-constitution activists