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Rights groups put pressure on Myanmar

March 1, 2013 at 12:29 PM

PARIS, March 1 (UPI) -- Reforms undertaken by the government of Myanmar haven't translated into real improvements for its citizens, human rights groups said.

Myanmar, known formerly as Burma, embarked on political transformation to civilian rule starting with general elections in 2010.

The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French initials FIDH, and member organization Altsean-Burma said that, despite reforms, the country remains mired in corruption and impunity.

"The implementation of reforms remains limited and inconsistent throughout the country," the groups stated.

Similar concerns have been expressed by U.N. officials, who said that while political progress was welcomed, Myanmar wasn't doing enough to stem internal conflicts.

FIDH added that authorities are restricting the right to peaceful assembly, pointing to the alleged use of white phosphorus on monks and civilians protesting in November over mining developments.

The rights groups said they were calling on the international community to pressure the government to take its commitment to reform seriously.

"The government's much-publicized reform process has not translated into significant improvements for the lives of the Burmese people, who remain subjected to arbitrary practices by the authorities," the rights groups stated.

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