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Burma's electoral law paves the way for Aung San Suu Kyi to make a 13 minute speech on state-controlled television, but the military junta did insist on making an edit
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered her first ever televised election campaign speech on state-controlled media.
According to the BBC, Suu Kyi used the opportunity to call for further political and judicial reforms by the military-controlled government in the country also known as Myanmar.
She called for repressive laws to be revoked, constitutional reform, a freer media and a stronger judiciary, the news service says.
"As long as freedom of movement and human rights are not fully achieved, democracy will not prevail," CNN quotes her as saying.
Suu Kyi's televised address was a result of Burma's electoral law, which states that each political party be allowed broadcast its manifesto.
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AFP says that part of the speech was censored by Burma's authorities to remove criticism of the former junta.
However, the news agency explains that in allowing the address to take place, the regime demonstrated how far it had come "with a surprising series of reforms following the end of nearly five decades of outright military rule".
Suu Kyi has spent much of the past 22 years under house arrest.
She and her National League for Democracy party have submitted candidates for all 47 seats up being contested in the Apr. 1 by-elections.
The Pakistan Observer says the the speech was leaked online, before being broadcast on state television, but notes that Burma has low rates of internet use.
Meanwhile, the US special envoy Derek Mitchell made his sixth visit to Burma in seven months and reiterated Washington's hope that the by-elections will be conducted freely, fairly and transparently, Associated Press reports.