Despite the devastation in much of the country, Mynamar’s military rulers pushed ahead with a referendum on a new constitution drafted by the army.
The generals claim the vote will set the nation on the path to democracy but critics say it will consolidate the army’s role in government. Analyst Larry Jagan said: “This is a referendum that actually only allows anyone who supports the constitution to be able to publicly support it. They do not allow the “no” campaign”.
The new constitution would allows for an election in 2010. But the text also reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats and key ministries for the military. Outside the country activists have been protesting against the referendum. Around 500 voiced their anger outside Myanmar’s embassy in Malaysia.