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Thais to Host Burma Democracy Forum - 2003-12-04


Thailand will soon host an international meeting to discuss the Burmese military government's proposed "road map" to democracy.

The Nation newspaper says the forum will be held December 15th, and will involve up to 10 so-called "like minded" countries that will listen to Burmese representatives explain Rangoon's plan.

It says that among the countries invited are China, Japan, France and Germany -- but not the United States.

A Thai foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the planned meeting to VOA today (Thursday), but he said no date has been set and that details are still being worked out. An official announcement may come next week.

Burma's Prime Minister Khin Nyunt announced the road map to democracy at the end of August, but he gave no timetable for its implementation.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has criticized Burma's military rulers for preparing the plan without consulting the nation's main opposition leaders, such as Aung San Suu Kyi.

Political progress in Burma has been at a standstill since a bloody confrontation between pro-democracy demonstrators and government supporters last May in the northern part of the country.

Since that confrontation, many of the nation's top opposition leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, have been in detention or under house arrest.

Information for this report is provided by The Nation and AFP.

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