Myanmar's ruling junta claimed to have taken another step in its "road map" to democracy that is supposed to lead to free elections with the creation of a committee to draft the country's long-delayed constitution.
The announcement late Thursday came amid a barrage of international pressure on the junta to halt a crackdown on government opponents and hold talks with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari suggested Thursday the country's military rulers be offered incentives to move toward democratic reforms. The envoy was on a six-nation tour of Asia aimed at getting Myanmar's neighbors to take an active role in resolving the crisis.
Myanmar's repressive regime has repeatedly rebuffed the world's calls for democratic reforms, saying it will follow it's own so-called road map to democracy.