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Dec 5, 2007 (DVB), Opposition groups in Burma have criticised comments made by government officials in a press conference, which trivialized the recent protests and ruled out a role for the opposition in agreeing the new constitution.
In the press conference on Monday, information minister Kyaw Hsan said that the international media had exaggerated reports of the public demonstrations in August and September, and claimed that they did not reflect the views of the majority in Burma.
Kyaw Hsan blamed the protests on anti-government groups inside and outside the country, and claimed internal agitators and "bogus monks" had been supported by foreign funding.
He also dismissed the possibility of opposition groups contributing directly to the drafting of the constitution, and rejected the idea of outside assistance in the country's political development.
Fu Cin Sian Thang, chairman of the Zomi National Council, dismissed the claims made in Monday's press conference.
"The government has been lying to the world by showing them their bogus activities. And yesterday’s press conference is their confession of this," he said.
Veteran politician Thakin Chan Htun said it was clear that the government would continue to follows its own agenda.
"Both the press conference and general Than Shwe’s National Day statement made it clear that the SPDC is planning to go ahead with their 7-step roadmap plan," he said.
"The whole point of the SPDC appointing their liaison minister is only to buy themselves some time. However, Burma’s problems would never be solved with a meeting between Than Shwe and Daw Suu."
Naing Aung Ma Ngae, spokesperson for the New Mon State Party, said that the government was moving away from genuine dialogue.
"We believe the problems we are facing now can only be solved via tripartite dialogue," he said.
"But the policy of the government’s 7-step roadmap goes in the totally opposite direction from it. This should not be happening."
National League for Democracy spokesperson Nyan Win said that the party would not be responding to the government's statements.
"We have no plan to make a formal response to what said at the [government’s] press-conference. At the moment, we are only concentrating on achieving national reconciliation through dialogue," he said.
Reporting by Aye Aye Mon