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Ethnic Karen Group Blames Burmese Military Junta For Political And Economic Problems - 2003-12-31


The rebel Karen National Union in Burma says the country faces serious political and economic problems and must undertake reforms.

A rebel statement today (Wednesday) followed what the group says was an emergency meeting of its leadership in Thailand. It accused the military government in Rangoon of failing to resolve existing political problems.

The Karen is the last major armed ethnic faction in Burma that has not signed a peace agreement with the government. But last week, the leadership held out the possibility of holding peace talks early in 2004 following a tentative cease-fire earlier this month.

Rangoon announced in August that it had embarked on a so-called road map to democracy. It later said the pro-democracy opposition and all ethnic minority groups would be allowed to take part in the drafting of a new constitution in 2004.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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