Myanmar vows to 'crush' opponents

Myanmar's military government has said it will "crush" opponents of the state, during its annual Armed Forces Day in the country's new capital, Naypyidaw.

Myanmar vows to 'crush' opponents

Myanmar'smilitary government has said it will "crush" opponents of thestate, during its annual Armed Forces Day in the country's new capital,Naypyidaw.

Than Shwe, the country's most senior general, criticisedcountries such as the United States which have denounced the junta'srecord on human rights and democratic reform. 


"Judging from lessons of the history, it is certainthat powerful countries wishing to impose their influence on our nation willmake any attempt in various ways to undermine national unity," he saidduring a speech on Tuesday. 


Than Shwe vowed to "crush, hand-in-hand with theentire people, every danger of internal and external destructive elementsobstructing the stability and development of the state".

About 15,000 troops paraded in front of the assembled ministers,generals, foreign defence attaches and international and local media atsunrise in Naypyidaw.

Jungle capital

The new capital,replacing Yangon, has been built in the jungles of central Myanmar,stretching over a vast area dotted with ministries, military buildings andapartment blocks.

The public was barred fromattending the event, but the annual ceremony marking the beginning ofresistance to Japanese occupation during World War II is one of the fewtimes of the year when Than Shwe allows his image to appear in official media.

Than Shwe displayed few signs of the reported illhealth that has caused concerns that a power struggle could erupt in Myanmar if hewere to die.

The ageing general spent two weeks in Singapore for medical checks inJanuary, and upon his return staged an unusual series of appearances in statemedia to dissuade any concerns about his health.

'Democratic progress'

The government also said Mynamar was making progress towards democracy afterbeing under military rule since 1962.

Brigadier general Kyaw Hsan, the information minister, saida draft of guidelines for drawing up a new constitution "is nearcompletion".

He said that unfinalised basic guidlines for drafting the new constitutionwould be adopted at the next session of the national convention.

The convention is thefirst stage of a seven-stage plan that is supposed to lead to new elections andthe restoration of democracy, at a date that remains unspecified.

"We know that the international community hassome worries about the implementation of the seven-step road map," KyawHsan acknowledged.

The current military junta took power in 1988 aftercrushing pro-democracy demonstrations and held a general election in 1990 butrefused to recognise the results after a landslide victory by the NationalLeague for Democracy party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16