Burmese Regime’s ‘Roadmap’ to Democracy Likely Leads to Dead End

Burmese Regime’s ‘Roadmap’ to Democracy Likely Leads to Dead End

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Three days after Burma's repressive military regime announced a timetable for its self-styled roadmap to democracy Feb. 9, the generals were back to their old, undemocratic ways. They ordered that the deputy leader of the much-restricted opposition National League for Democracy be held under house arrest for another year.

Tin Oo has been detained for almost five years, but aged 81 he hardly seems like a threat to the all-powerful army that runs the desperately poor, underfed country of 54 million, which was Asia's biggest rice exporter during British colonial days.

Tin Oo's continued detention seems to confirm the widespread view that the military's seven-step "roadmap" is just a fig leaf to give the impression the generals are taking heed of international calls for reform, following a crackdown on street protests in September last year in which more than 30 people died and thousands were arrested, including many monks.

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