NAYPYITAW, Sept 15 : Myanmar's main opposition party has launched an election manifesto that pledges to retain a "dignified" role for the military as a defender of democracy and consolidate government ministries to save costs.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) published the 28-page document late on Monday ahead of a Nov. 8 election in which it is expected to perform well after decades on the political sidelines.
The election marks a major shift in Myanmar's political landscape, giving a platform to democratic activists crushed during a half-century of military rule that ended in 2011.
International alarm over religious tension
Meanwhile, The United States, Japan and other major powers on Tuesday raised fears that rising religious tensions in Myanmar could spark "division and conflict" as campaigning begins for historic elections.
But religious tensions are spiking in the Buddhist-majority country, which has seen sporadic outbursts of often deadly religious unrest in recent years, with minority Muslims facing increasing political exclusion as the influence of nationalist monks grows.
In a statement a day after hardline monks began two weeks of nationwide ceremonies that coincide with the start of election campaigning, foreign governments called on Myanmar "to promote a spirit of tolerance, mutual respect, and equality under the law to ensure the elections are peaceful and inclusive". ?Agencies