Ban Ki-moon arrived in Burma (Myanmar) Friday in a risky bid to break the political stalemate. He will press for the release of political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The offensive is pushing thousands of refugees into Thailand. It appears to be a rebuke to Burma's neighbor, which has criticized the junta for its trial of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The government's surprise announcement to hold a constitutional referendum is being met with deep skepticism.
A popular weekly recently had one-quarter of its stories rejected out of hand. Editors don't ask why.