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UN Secretary-General Urges Burma to Work Out Inclusive Constitution


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Burma's military regime to allow all relevant parties in the country to contribute in drafting a new constitution.

Ban said in a statement Wednesday that the Burmese government should seize this opportunity to be as "inclusive, participatory and transparent as possible" in defining the country's future.

Burma's Information Minister Kyaw Hsan says this final round of talks could last at least a month-and-a-half. They have been ongoing for the past 14 years.

Critics of the process say the military is using the new charter to solidify its grip on power. The military government hand-picked most of the convention's delegates, and the opposition National League of Democracy has boycotted the process for the past decade.

The opposition party won national elections in 1990, but Burma's military leaders refused to recognize those results. The party's secretary-general, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest.
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