Myanmar's foreign minister has claimed anti-junta forces orchestrated the bizarre visit by an American to the prison home of Aung San Suu Kyi, state media reported on the fifth day of her trial.
The New Light of Myanmar reported Foreign Minister Nyan Win made the claims on Monday during a phone call with his counterpart in Japan, Hirofumi Nakasone, as they discussed fresh charges brought against the democracy leader.
It reported Nyan Win as saying that the junta believed the visit was arranged by opposing groups to stoke tensions between the government and its western critics.
"Minister U Nyan Win expressed his opinion that... it was likely that this incident was timely trumped up, to intensify international pressure on Myanmar, by internal and external anti-government elements," the New Light said.
State authorities often refer to members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy and exiled oppositions groups collectively as "anti-government forces".
Aung San Suu Kyi was put on trial Monday for breaching the terms of her house arrest over a visit by American John Yettaw, who filmed himself inside the 63-year-old's lakeside home, where he spent two days earlier this month.
Yettaw, 53, and two female political aides who live with Aung San Suu Kyi are also on trial.
The New Light said the minister believed the controversy had been timed to coincide with a review of policy towards Myanmar, notably by the United States.
The report also said Myanmar was "trying to build improved relationship with countries all over the world including US, Japan and European nations," in an unusual reference to authorities' desire to improve their reputation abroad.
A Western diplomat in Yangon, who would not be named, said the state media report "seems to reveal some kind of disarray and embarrassment" and said the government was reacting to events on a day-to-day basis with no clear strategy.
The EU and US recently renewed sanctions against Myanmar, which prevent economic cooperation with the reclusive Southeast Asian regime.
The regime has kept the Nobel Peace Prize winner in detention for 13 of the past 19 years. It filed the charges against her just weeks before a May 27 deadline when her latest six-year spell of detention was due to expire.
The regime refused to recognise a landslide victory by the NLD in the last elections to be held in Myanmar in 1990. The military has ruled Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, since 1962.