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Burmese Govt. Invites Opposition to Constitutional Convention - 2004-04-08


Burma's military government has formally invited the main opposition National League for Democracy party to attend next month's convention on drafting a new constitution.

The government sent out invitations to the May 17th convention on Wednesday. And an opposition spokesman confirmed that the party received one.

But National League for Democracy officials have said they will not attend the meetings unless their leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other party leaders are released from house arrest. They were among scores of party members arrested last May following a violent clash between a pro-government mob and opposition supporters in northern Burma.

There has been speculation that Aung San Suu Kyi will be released ahead of the May 17th talks. Western governments, human rights groups and the United Nations have urged the military government to allow Aung San Suu Kyi and her party to fully participate in the drawing up of a new constitution.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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