Burma’s Former Military Ruler Reportedly Retires

Posted November 24th, 2011 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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HEAD: Burmese Former Military Ruler Reportedly Retires

DATE: 11/24/11



The former military leader of Burma, General Than Shwe, is being referred to as “retired” by newspapers in Yangoon.

The reports of his retirement comes on the same day that a member of the country's parliament announced passage of a bill that allows citizens to stage peaceful protests, provided they inform authorities five days in advance.

Aye Maung, a member of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, says that once the legislation is signed into law by President Thein Sein protesters will be allowed to display flags and party symbols.

He called the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Bill significant because the right to protest has never been allowed under Burma's military rulers.

The legislation is part of a series of reforms that have been enacted recently, including a law giving workers the right to strike.

A year ago, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from detention and since then has opened talks with the government.

In response to the reforms, U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Burma next month, the first such visit in five decades.