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Troubled education dialogue resumes

Faltering talks between the government and groups pushing for reform of the National Education Law are set to resume on 11 February.

After the meetings stalled last week, Deputy Education Minister Thant Shin and Dr Thein Lwin, a representative of the National Network for Education Reform, held a preliminary meeting at the Department of Higher Education in Rangoon on 9 February to negotiate conditions for the four-way talks to continue.

It was agreed that 20 representatives from each side would meet at the regional parliament building in Rangoon, Burma’s former capital on Wednesday morning.

“The meeting today focused on negotiation conditions for the four-way talks – we reached an agreement to begin the talks at 9:30am on 11 February at the Rangoon parliament building. There will be 20 representatives and one moderator from each side,” said Aung Hmine San, a student representative who attended the Monday meeting.


“The media will be allowed to cover speeches made publically in the morning, but the talks will take place behind closed doors. Reporters will be allowed back in the building when a press conference is held at the end.”

Meanwhile, columns of student protesters are continuing their march to Rangoon along various routes – from central Burma’s Mandalay; the Irrawaddy Delta’s Bassein [Pathein]; and Tavoy [Dawei] and Mergui [Myeik], both towns located in the southern coastal region of Tenasserim.


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