The chief of Burma's military government has called on all citizens to support a controversial road map to democracy.
an 88th National Day message carried Saturday by the state-run New
Light of Myanmar newspaper, Senior General Than Shwe said the people
are duty-bound to actively participate in the drive to see the
seven-step road map to its end.
Than Shwe also warned citizens
to be vigilant against foreign powers who he said were interfering in
countries' internal affairs.
Under the government's road map
to democracy, Burma has adopted a new constitution after a
widely-criticized referendum held days after cyclone Nargis ravaged
large areas of the country in early May, killing more than 100,000
Burma's government says the constitution implements
democratic reforms, but critics argue it tightens the military's grip
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 have kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest
for 13 of the past 19 years.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.