Burma's military ruler says "colonialists and neo-colonialists" are trying to "hinder the momentum of national development" in his country.
Senior General Than Shwe says Western nations are using economic sanctions and trying to incite racial and ethnic divisions in an effort to dominate Burma.
His remarks were delivered Sunday in Rangoon during a ceremony to celebrate Union Day, which commemorates an agreement in 1947 between General Aung San and ethnic minority leaders to demand independence from Britain.
General Aung San is the father of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest.
The United States and the European Union have imposed harsh sanctions against Burma's military government for its poor human rights record and its failure to hand over control to a democratically elected government.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.