Myanmar's military leaders were set to reopen a national meeting on preparing a long-delayed Constitution on Tuesday, after slamming the party of Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for boycotting the proceedings.
The junta warned that any group standing in the way of the constitution-drafting process would be "crushed."
Information Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Hsan yesterday accused Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy of seeking to fulfill personal and party interests "instead of focusing on the national interest."
The NLD demands that the government honour its 1990 election victory and conduct a dialogue with the party and its detained leader, Suu Kyi, and has shunned the government's National Convention, claiming it is not being handled in a democratic way.
Kyaw Hsan said it was no longer necessary to have talks with the party, and that carrying out the National Convention's tasks is the best way forward. The NLD's demands are "intended to jeopardise the National Convention and to grab power through a shortcut," he said.
The political standoff has prompted strong international pressure on the junta from Western nations, who say Myanmar must get serious about ushering in democracy.
The military, which seized power in 1988, called the 1990 polls but refused to honour the results after a landslide victory by the NLD.