September 1, 2007
Myanmar junta finishes plans for a new constitution
YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military government marched ahead Saturday with its much-criticized
plans for a new constitution amid U.S. pressure on the United Nations to condemn the junta's iron-fisted
treatment of protesters.
A national convention to draw up guidelines for the new constitution completed its tasks Friday, and was
to formally end Monday, delegates said.
Details of the gathering have not been released, but it is the first stage of a so-called road map to democracy
implemented by the junta in this Southeast Asian nation to lead to elections at an unspecified date. Critics call
the process a sham because the junta hand-picked most delegates, and because opposition leader and Nobel
Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi — who remains under house arrest — cannot attend.
The convention was wrapping up its work as anti-government protesters scattered into hiding to dodge arrest
after a wave of protests over fuel price hikes imposed by the military leadership. The junta has detained scores
of activists involved with the rare displays of public opposition, which began Aug. 19. The government acknowledges
detaining about 60 people, but opposition activists say the number is closer to 100. Some have been released. AP reports