Burmese President Says Nation on Path to Democracy

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 12:25 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese President Thein Sein says his government is committed to moving the country towards a healthy democracy after decades of military rule.

Thein Sein made the promise Monday during a formal state dinner in Singapore, and again in a newspaper interview in the city-state's Straits Times newspaper.

Burma's military-backed civilian government has undertaken a series of dramatic political reforms since taking power last March, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, the holding of peace talks with ethnic rebels and the allowance of greater press freedoms.

Thein Sein arrived in Singapore Sunday, accompanied by a delegation of business leaders and economic ministers.

The two sides singed an economic agreement Monday, which calls for Singapore to offer technical and vocational education to help Burma train people in such areas as economic planning and urban development.

Burma's economy has largely ground to a halt after decades of mismanagement by the military junta, as well as international sanctions against the junta over its poor human rights record.