A Burmese opposition group has criticized the lengthy convictions handed down to eight ethnic Shan leaders in secret courts this month.
In a statement, the Committee Representing People's Parliament said the sentences could threaten national unity and reconciliation of the country's people.
The eight Shan leaders were convicted last week, following their arrest in February. The Rangoon court issued multiple life sentences to seven of them, including Hkun Htun Oo, chairman of a coalition of pro-democracy ethnic parties - United Nationalities Alliance.
Monday, the U.S. State Department condemned the secret trials, and called for the release of all political prisoners in the country. A spokesman said the sentences prove that the government's so-called "Roadmap to Disciplined Democracy" is neither credible nor inclusive.