Myanmar president delivers New Year's Day message

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Associated Press

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 1 at 3:04 AM

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's president made his first New Year's address to the nation as part of what he called a new campaign to communicate directly with the people.

President Thein Sein reflected on the country's much-touted progress last year and the challenges ahead in a five-minute broadcast Tuesday.

Thein Sein acknowledged that "our once closed and isolated society still has many aspects to reform."

He vowed "to constantly inform the people of our government's stance and actions."

He said he chose to deliver his remarks by radio because most of Myanmar's impoverished citizens do not have television.

The 67-year-old ex-general, who had been prime minister under the ruling junta, has won international praise for spearheading reforms after a half-century of military rule.

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