The march of democracy is unstoppable in Myanmar despite the challenges, says Myanmar's Information Minister Pe Myint.
Myint said his government was not playing down the challenges, some of which he described as "formidable".
"But at a time when democracy is threatened in many countries where it had struck roots or emerged as fledgling movements, Myanmar is trying hard to move ahead," Myint told Mizzima news.
Asked if the military was playing ball, Myint said the army is committed to take forward the democratic progress and "there was no reason to doubt that".
"There are many opinions about how much we have progressed. Some say much progress has been achieved, others credit us with moderate success and still others say very little has been done to institutionalise democracy," Myint said.
He insisted that his government considered the different views with 'due respect'.
"But I want to say there should be absolutely no doubt about our intentions. We are determined to become a functional democracy," he said, on the sidelines of the 'Forum for Myanmar's democratic transition'.
Pe Myint said federalism was key to a functional democracy in the Myanmar context.
"We believe in an inclusive nationalism, not a majoritarian nationalism as practiced in some apparently democratic countries. Without a proper federal structure, democracy in Myanmar or perhaps anywhere else cannot be institutionalised," Myint said.
(Subir Bhaumik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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