Mon 28 Feb 2005
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
February 26: Yangon: Delegates to Myanmar’s latest round of constitutional talks have been given a weekend break, with some allowed to return to Yangon to visit their families, a source close to the secretive convention said Saturday.
The more than 1,000 delegates to the national convention organized by Myanmar’s military rulers are usually confined to the isolated compound about an hour’s drive outside the capital.
The convention, condemned internationally for failing to include the leading pro-democracy party, aims at drafting a constitution to be put to vote as part of the junta’s “road map” to democracy.
Nine days after the talks resumed, delegates were given the weekend off. Those who live in Yangon were bused into the city and picked up by their families, according to witnesses.
Delegates from other parts of the country either remained on the compound, which features resort-like amenities such as a golf course and theatre, or were given bus tours of the capital, a source close to the talks said.
Although the talks have played unusually prominently in state media, no one has revealed exactly what has been under discussion since the latest session began on February 17.
The European Union, the United Nations and the United States have condemned the convention, which has been boycotted by the leading opposition party, Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
She and the party’s vice chairman are under house arrest, and the party has refused to join the talks until they are released.