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Burmese Delegates Complete Guidelines for Constitution


Members of a military-appointed group in Burma who are drafting guidelines for a new constitution have completed their work.

National Convention delegates said today a final meeting will be held on Monday, completing a process that began some 14 years ago.

Burma has been without a constitution since 1988, when military leaders suspended a previous charter.

The convention is the first stage of a so-called road map to democracy that Burma's military government says will lead to elections sometime in the future. It has never said when that will happen.

Rights groups say the draft charter would cement the military's role in politics and block prominent opposition politicians from participating in elections.

The completion of the guidelines comes as Burma is experiencing its most sustained protests in decades.

The last major demonstrations in Burma took place in 1988, when student activists led an uprising against military rule.

Burma's government has been widely criticized for human rights violations, including the extended detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and more than 1200 other political prisoners.

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