A Burmese official has urged the country's citizens to maintain unity and national solidarity.
The comments by Lieutenant General Thein Sein -- reported by the Burmese state-run newspaper -- came after a group of elders from Burma's Shan ethnic group declared a Shan State independent from Burma's military junta.
His Royal Highness Prince Surkhanpha, eldest son of the first president of Burma, on Sunday cited Burma's 1947 constitution for the move. That constitution was nullified by a military coup in 1962 and replaced by another constitution in 1974.
Prince Surkhanpha's declaration of independence was accompanied by a statement that declared Shan State a war zone and warned foreigners to avoid the region.