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Myanmar releases prisoners for New Year

Myanmar's Prisons Department will release more than 23-thousand prisoners from jails across the country on Saturday under a New Year amnesty,

though few if any democracy activists arrested since the February 1st coup were expected to be among them.

Saturday is the first day of the traditional New Year in Myanmar and the last day of a five-day holiday.

Some activists called for the cancellation of the festivities this year and instead for people to focus on a campaign to restore democracy.

University student union leader, Zay Yar Min, said ''we still don't know or understand much of what is happening outside", after being jailed for more than two months in Yangon.

Pro-democracy politicians, including ousted members of parliament, announced the formation of a National Unity Government on Friday, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi

and leaders of the anti-coup protests and ethnic minorities. In Mandalay, protesters took to the streets to show their support.

Meantime, Myanmar's junta chief is set to attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Indonesia on April 24, according to a Thai foreign ministry spokesman.

It will be his first known foreign trip since the coup.