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Burma Announces Final Session of Constitution-Drafting Talks


Burma's military government says it will resume the final session of constitution-drafting talks on July 18th.

The country's acting prime minister Lieutenant General Thein Sein made the announcement Tuesday.

The last national convention ended in late December after more than two months of deliberations.

Burma's government says the convention is the start of a seven-step "road to democracy" it says will culminate in elections. No timetable has been set for the road map.

But critics consider the proceedings a sham because pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from the meetings, and her National League for Democracy party is boycotting the convention. The Nobel Peace Laureate has spent 11 of the past 16 years under house arrest.

Burma's first constitutional convention was held in 1993, but talks stalled in 1995 when the NLD walked out, saying the meeting was being manipulated by the military. Talks did not start again until 2004.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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