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Burmese Excludes Others From Constitution Drafting

Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 4, 2007

Burmese Excludes Key Parties from Constitution Drafting

We condemn the Burmese regime's rejection of meaningful participation for Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic and ethnic minority leaders in the process of drafting a national constitution. The regime's December 3 statement to the diplomatic corps makes clear that Senior General Than Shwe and his regime have no intention to begin a genuine, inclusive dialogue necessary for a democratic transition with these parties as called for by the international community, including Burma's neighbors, UN Adviser Gambari, ASEAN, and the UN Security Council.

Aung San Suu Kyi's November 8 statement made clear that she remains committed to meaningful and time-bound talks with Burma's ruling generals and welcomes the UN Secretary General's good offices in facilitating such a dialogue. It is Than Shwe and his senior generals who are obstructing progress toward democratization in Burma.

Despite the regime's announced amnesty of prisoners this week, an estimated 1,800 political prisoners and detainees remain behind bars in Burma. The United States reiterates its call for Than Shwe to release Aung San Suu Kyi and countless other detainees and political prisoners as a necessary condition for a genuine dialogue with democratic and ethnic minority groups on a transition to a civilian, democratic government in Burma.

Released on December 4, 2007


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