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UN Chief Welcomes Release Of Burmese Dissidents

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the release of the seven political prisoners by the Burmese military regime on Tuesday, including prominent democracy veteran Win Tin.

"The Secretary-General reiterates that all political prisoners should be released and that all citizens of Myanmar should be able to enjoy political freedoms, as necessary steps towards the process of national reconciliation and dialogue," said a statement issued by a spokesperson for Ban.

Win Tin, who was held in detention for over 19 years, was released along with 9,000 other prisoners amnestied by the junta as a gesture that the state media described as "loving kindness and goodwill".

Soon after his release, the 79-year-old veteran told reporters that he would continue with his fight for restoring democracy in the southeast Asian country, and added that he does not accept the new military-backed constitution passed earlier in the year.

Win Tin was one among the founders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still under house arrest. Soon after the formation of the NLD, the party won the national elections in 1989, but was prevented from taking power by Burma's military.

It is estimated that over 2000 political prisoners still remain in Burmese prisons over their differences with the ruling military regime.

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