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Burma's Military Leader to Visit India

India is expected to welcome Burma's military leader for a visit beginning Sunday, prompting protests from human rights groups and Burmese exiles.

News reports say General Than Shwe will meet with top Indian officials, including President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Than Shwe is expected to start his journey with a pilgrimage to the revered Buddhist temple of Bodh Gaya in Bihar state.
Burma's military government has been widely criticized for human rights abuses and jailing its political opponents. The most famous of them, Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has been in some form of detention for about 14 of the past 20 years.

Her National League for Democracy overwhelmingly won Burma's last democratic election 20 years ago, but the military refused to relinquish power.

The Burmese government says it will hold another election sometime this year, but Aung San Suu Kyi's party will not be allowed to participate.

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