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Razali: Give Burma Chance to Implement Promised Reforms - 2003-09-08


The special United Nations envoy to Burma has urged the international community to give that country's military rulers time to implement political reforms they have vowed to undertake.

Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail said in Kuala Lumpur (Monday) that the so-called "road map" to democracy outlined last month by the new Burmese prime minister, Khin Nyunt, should be given a chance to work. Mr. Razali also said his plan to visit Burma in the middle of this month has been put on hold, while the government moves forward with those reforms.

General Khin Nyunt promised democratic reforms and new elections, but gave no timetable for the process. He also made no offer to resume talks with detained Nobel Peace Prize winner and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Some of Burma's neighbors have spoken out publicly in support of the "road map" plan. Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda (Monday) urged Rangoon to free Aung San Suu Kyi before a summit of Southeast Asian nations in Bali next month. Thailand and Malaysia also have called on Burma to free the opposition leader.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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