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Burmese Rebels Ask UN Pressure on Rangoon to Begin Dialogue


Burma's largest rebel group is calling on the United Nations to increase pressure on Rangoon to begin a dialogue on resolving the government's conflicts with ethnic minority groups.

The Karen National Union's appeal for peace talks was issued at a four-day conference the group held last week at a secret location.

The KNU said the meeting was attended by more than 120 people from 26 ethnic Karen organizations. The group is based in a mountainous area along the Thai-Burmese border.

Delagates to the KNU conference demanded Burma's military rulers stop their attacks against the Karen people and release all political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The group also condemned the military government's National Convention, being held near Rangoon to draft a new constitution, calling it a sham. Many of Burma's ethnic rebel groups are boycotting the gathering.

The United States says the so-called national convention lacks credibility.

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