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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Myanmar’s token reforms

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 18 2011   /  08:00 am

The release of several hundred prisoners in Myanmar last week was another token gesture from the military junta, trying to convince the world of its intention to introduce some form of democracy in the country. As welcome as the gesture is — since any move in that direction in Myanmar at this stage is almost progress — we still have to take it with a grain of salt.

Among those released in the first batch of 6,300 who received a general amnesty from the government were 80 political prisoners. Amnesty International says there are more than 2,000 prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, those imprisoned chiefly for their political beliefs, and it is uncertain how many of those were included in this round of amnesty.

Until a clearer picture emerges about the fate of those political prisoners in coming weeks, we should refrain from applauding the Myanmar regime. The Myanmarese, ...