Burma's leader says foreign powers are using accusations of human rights abuses and drug trafficking to discredit the military government and infiltrate the country.
In a National Day address printed in the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper Friday, Senior General Than Shwe said what he called neo-colonialists are trying to encroach on and dominate others through the media.
Several hundred people gathered at the headquarters of the opposition National League for Democracy for a low key celebration. The party called for the junta to release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Tin Oo and Khun Tun Oo.
Earlier this month, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution criticizing systematic human rights violations in Burma.
Both Washington and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Burma for its suppression of the pro-democracy movement.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.