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Conditions in Burma and US Policy Toward Burma - 2004-04-15


U.S. State Department released the report on Conditions in Burma and US policy toward Burma for the period of September 28, to March 27, 2004.

The overall situation in Burma has changed little over the past six months. The Burmese government released most persons arrested during the government’s May 2003 attack on Aung San Suu Kyi and her convoy.

However, many pro-democracy supporters rounded up in the aftermath of the attack remain in detention; National League for Democracy (NLD) offices remain closed; senior opposition party leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo, remain largely incommunicado under house arrest; and the government refuses to investigate the May attack.

The Government of Burma (GOB) also has arrested more people for their peaceful political activities over the past six months, while over a thousand persons remain jailed for their political beliefs. The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has focused efforts on promoting its own seven-step “road map” to a "genuine and disciplined democratic system."

Although the SPDC unveiled the plan in August 2003 following the announcement of new U.S. sanctions, the junta has yet to set a timetable for the transition or give assurances that all political parties and ethnic groups will be included in a transparent and democratic process.

In recent months, the SPDC and the Karen National Union (KNU) entered into serious cease-fire negotiations, which could bring an end to decades of conflict.

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