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Burmese Constitution Published in English

Burma's military junta has published bilingual copies of the country's new constitution - in both Burmese and English.

State-run media say the publication has gone on sale in government bookshops.

The constitution was passed in a highly criticized May referendum just days after a cyclone swept across the country killing more than 100,000 people.

Burma's government says the constitution implements democratic reforms, but critics argue it tightens the military's grip on power.

The constitution guarantees 25 percent of parliamentary seats will be held by the military. It also allows the military to take over government during a state of emergency, and it bans detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from public office because she was married to a foreigner.

A military government has ruled Burma since 1962. The opposition party won the last general elections in 1990. But military leaders never recognized the results of that race and instead put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.