Burma's military government is set to resume discussions this week on a proposed draft constitution the government says will eventually lead to democratic elections.
The military government says this week's National Convention is the first of many steps in its so-called "roadmap to democracy." The thousand delegates that will participate in the constitution process - which began 14 years ago - largely have been chosen by the government.
Critics of the process say the military is using the new charter to solidify its grip on power and that the document will not reflect the views of the opposition, the National League for Democracy.
NLD members are boycotting the process to protest the detention of their leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been in prison or under house arrest for most of the past 18 years.
Burma has been governed by military leaders since 1962. The present government has not said when the new constitution will be finished or when a referendum will be held on the charter.