Myanmar urged to give all groups a voice in talks
YANGON: Delegates gathering for a constitution-drafting convention in military-ruled Myanmar have been warned by Washington and the European Union that their deliberations will lack international legitimacy unless pro-democracy and all ethnic minority groups are included.
The military junta claims the National Convention, scheduled to reconvene Thursday, is a step towards fulfilling its promises to build democracy in the country, which has come under intense international pressure for holding opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has boycotted the convention because of her detention and says the government is not genuine about its promises of reform.
Ahead of Thursday’s meetings, the US State Department renewed calls for the junta to launch a substantive dialogue with opposition groups and to free all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, “immediately and unconditionally.”
“Without the full participation of the democratic opposition and ethnic minority groups, the National Convention lacks the legitimacy necessary to draft a constitution that is truly democratic and representative,” department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement released Tuesday in Washington and distributed elsewhere.
He said the groups had been denied a voice in the constitution-planning process. ap