- Title: JAPAN: U.N. envoy wants 'credible' Myanmar democracy roadmap
- Date: 28th February 2008
- Summary: JAPANESE AND MYANMARESE PROTESTERS BANNERS AND PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) KYAW KYAW SOE, CHAIRMAN OF LEAGUE FOR DEMOCRACY IN BURMA, SAYING: "We'd like to say to Mr. Gambari that we the People of Democracy activists in Japan cannot accept the new constitution written by the SPDC. So we are against this constitution." BANNERS AND PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 14th March 2008 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA7I9HMVEH1Q6EP2Y4SRK24C9J9
- Story Text: United Nation envoy Ibrahim Gambari wants "inclusive and credible" democratic process in Myanmar as protesters in Tokyo oppose the country's new constitution.
U.N. envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari said on Thursday (February 28) that he would urge Myanmar's military government to take steps to make its roadmap to democracy "credible and inclusive" when he visits the country next week.
"We will encourage the government, even at this late hour, to try to make it credible and inclusive. There are many ways in which this can be done," Gambari told Reuters in an interview in Tokyo.
In a surprise move, the country's ruling generals this month announced a referendum in May on a new constitution, to be followed by a general election in 2010. If held, the poll would be the first since a 1990 election whose outcome the military ignored.
Gambari also said he would urge Myanmar's military junta to free detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners to put the country on the path to democracy.
"Because it will contribute to positive atmosphere for the referendum and the elections. In our view if the government now regard or should regard us as a partner, they will be talking to her, we hope there will even more talking to discuss more serious problem," he said.
"Then it would be logical not to keep on same restrictions as before. Otherwise then her continued detention will continue to be a problem for the regime, whereas she should be part of the solution in terms of meeting challenges facing the economy."
Suu Kyi would be barred from the 2010 elections because she had been married to a foreigner, violating the newly drafted constitution, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported last seek.
Myanmar's generals last held elections in 1990, but ignored the result when Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years under some form of detention.
Earlier this month, the military, which has ruled the former Burma in various guises since 1962, accused pro-democracy and dissident groups of trying to tear the country apart, and urged the public to back its "roadmap to democracy".
Meanwhile, Myanmarese living in Japan rallied outside a United Nations' building in Tokyo, protesting against the country's military government and the country's new constitution.
"We'd like to say to Mr. Gambari that we the People of Democracy activists in Japan cannot accept the new constitution written by the SPDC. So we are against this constitution," said Kyaw Kyaw Soe, chairman of League for Democracy in Burma.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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