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Indonesia Urges Burmese Junta To Set Timeframe For National Reconciliation - 2004-01-06


Indonesia is urging Burma's military government to set a timetable for its process of national reconciliation and democratization.

Jakarta's Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda says Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries want the military rulers to include all sectors of Burmese society in the process.

Mr. Wirajuda says that should include pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest in Rangoon.

"Obviously, what we will have to do in the future is to encourage Myanmar to make a time frame for the reconciliation and democratization process and to involve all components of Myanmar's population in that process, including the party of Madame Aung San Suu Kyi and herself. Although the process of democratization and national reconciliation will be a challenge for Myanmar and ASEAN. Although the issue is domestic, it's also important to ASEAN. As Chairman of ASEAN, we will continue urging to make efforts to arrive at a peaceful solution," he said.

Mr Wirajuda said, "At the ASEAN summit, the message we received was that Madame Aung San Suu Kyi herself was trying to convince us that ASEAN should not push too hard because it might negatively effort the new government of Myanmar and would hamper the process of reconciliation and democratization."

The foreign minister made his comments in response to a reporter's question in Jakarta Tuesday.

Burma's military government has said it will call a convention to draft a new constitution and hold elections as part of a "road map" toward democracy. But it has yet to say when the various steps of the plan will take place.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and VOA Indonesian Service.

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