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Monday, October 08, 2007

Myanmar says Suu Kyi unlikely to be released until new constitution approved
Brett Murphy at 1:13 PM ET

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] said Monday that opposition leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi [JURIST news archive] would likely not be released from house arrest until a new constitution for the country is approved. In a piece published in the state-run New Light of Myanmar [official website], the junta also said that recent protests [BBC backgrounder] will not bring about the changes demanded, namely national reconciliation, Suu Kyi's release and lower prices, but that such changes will be attainable once the new constitution is approved.

Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 11 of the past 17 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text]. The country has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988 and talks on a new national charter [JURIST report] have been underway for 14 years. It is not yet clear who will draft the actual constitution or how that process will occur, but the Myanmar government has pledged to put the resulting document to a vote in a national referendum. Reuters has more.

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