Tuesday, 3 January 2012

U Thein Sein is lying to the world, and his peoples,

Reuters, January ,2 -2012
President Thein Sein has commuted death sentences to life in prison and cut the terms to be served by other prisoners in a gesture to mark Independence Day, state media said on Monday, but it appeared no political prisoners would be freed.

The nominally civilian government that took office in Burma last March has begun to implement gradual political and economic reforms. In October, it released around 230 political prisoners jailed by the former junta.

Several hundred are still thought to be behind bars and some observers had suggested there could be an amnesty early in the New Year.

Independence Day falls on January 4, marking the day when the country, formerly known as Burma, gained independence from British colonial rule in 1948.

Western governments that are keen to nurture the changes in Burma want to see political prisoners released before they will fully lift economic sanctions imposed during the period of military rule.

State-owned MRTV-4 said the president had signed an order to commute death sentences and reduce prison terms. For example, prisoners with more than 30 years to serve would now have to serve "up to 30 years" and those facing 20 to 30 years would now have up to 20 years in jail.

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