Myanmar leader holds 1st press briefing

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2012 7:57 AM
Myanmar leader holds 1st press briefing

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's reformist president has held his first press conference for local press, a milestone after years of secrecy and censorship by the former military regime.

Thein Sein didn't break any stunning news Sunday when he answered about 30 questions from local press and foreign correspondents on subjects ranging from fighting with ethnic rebels in the north to amending the country's military-fashioned constitution.

His mere appearance, however, told the story about his country's turn from secrecy and paranoia to relative openness.

Thein Sein took office early last year as an elected leader after almost five decades of repressive military rule. Reforms he has initiated include the release of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and reconciliation with her pro-democracy movement, plus lifting most restrictions on freedom of the press.