Burma's former ruling party, apparently seeking to soften its image in advance of promised national elections, has offered to permit private enterprise and guarantee basic human rights after 26 years of authoritarian rule.

But the promises of reform, announced late Sunday on official Rangoon radio, were counterbalanced by reports that government troops again fired on pro-democracy demonstrators, killing a teenager.A second person was shot and killed by soldiers during a disturbance outside a military office building in the capital, the broadcast said.

"Work will be carried out to ensure that the private sector has a full role to play in the process of fully developing all of the productive forces in the country," the party was quoted as saying.