Myanmar statute talks to begin in December

Yangon, August 20 :

Constitutional talks suspended by Myanmar’s military rulers and designed as the first step on the junta’s “road map” to democracy, are due to resume by December, a visiting UN envoy said today Former Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas yesterday held a rare meeting with the junta’s top five leaders to discuss reforms at the United Nations, and later met organisers of a national convention charged with drafting a new constitution. Alatas, wrapping up the last of a three-day visit to impoverished Myanmar, told reporters the meeting with constitutional talks organisers and others with government-backed social groups were added to his agenda by the junta. “It was quite interesting but I didn’t come for this,” Alatas said, stressing his mandate was the UN reform process. He said national convention senior organiser Judge Aung Toe told him the talks — which the junta suspended in March — would resume by December. “All I did was listen to what they have to say.” The European Union, the US, the UN and human rights groups consider the national convention a sham because it has been boycotted by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) of Aung San Suu Kyi.