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Burmese Minister Defends Government, Says Constitutional Convention is to Resume - 2004-09-30


A Burmese government minister says preparations are underway for resuming a convention to draft a new constitution. The meeting has been boycotted by the nation's pro-democracy party over the detention of their leader.

Speaking Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly, U Tin Winn said the military-run government is preparing for a second round of discussions on the stalled constitutional convention. He said it is the only way to achieve democracy in Burma.

He spoke a day after the United Nations released a report saying the Burmese government has given large numbers of people harsh jail sentences as punishment for political activities. The report called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's pro-democracy party, who has been under house arrest since May of last year.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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