Burma Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

Ne Win offers to resign, but there are doubts that he means it

When the ruling Burma Socialist Program Party met for a three-day congress in Rangoon late last week, it was expected to focus on long-overdue economic reforms and a housecleaning of the organization's sclerotic bureaucracy. But General Ne Win, the wily strongman who has ruled Burma since 1962, had a surprise in store. In a nationally televised address after the congress convened, Ne Win, 77, offered his resignation as chairman of his insular country's only political party. He also called for a referendum within 60 days on ending the country's single-party government.

The move came after ten months of increasingly violent discontent...

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