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Myanmar junta tells people to protect ‘democracy’


NAYPYITAW, Myanmar » The leader of Myanmar’s junta is urging people to protect what he called the country’s nascent "democracy," a day after a Cabinet was approved for the new military-dominated government.

Senior Gen. Than Shwe called Saturday for the nation’s citizens to build together and safeguard a "democracy system" that is "still in its infancy." His call came in a Union Day message read out by Vice President-elect Tin Aung Myint Oo, another leading junta member.

In his message, Than Shwe also struck a familiar tough tone, warning people "to tackle any form of disruption to the new system."

Critics say Myanmar’s transition to democracy is a charade and that last year’s election was orchestrated to perpetuate military rule.


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