Insurgents who have fought the government for four decades say they are throwing their support behind the massive anti-government campaign and want to be included in any interim leadership formed to restore democracy.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of the capital again Friday, demanding the resignation of President Maung Maung's one-party government. Many gathered later in the day outside the U.S. Embassy to listen to speeches and songs about democracy, a Western diplomat said.The crowd also chanted slogans demanding an interim administration be formed to return democracy to this impoverished Southeast Asian nation, he said.
"We support 100 percent the struggles for democracy," said Brang Seng, leader of the Kachin Independence Organization. "It is also our aim to replace one-party dictatorship with multiparty democracy."
He said the group supports the demand for an interim government and opposes the government holding general elections. Brang Seng spoke Thursday night in a telephone interview from Tokyo.
"Inclusion of representatives from the revolutionary forces (rebels) in the interim government should be considered for future deliberations for internal peace," he said.
Japan's Kyodo News Service reported the administration proposed sharing leadership with the opposition in an interim government. In a dispatch from Rangoon, Kyodo quoted unidentified sources as saying the government was asking to retain one-third of the Cabinet posts, including the crucial defense and interior portfolios.
It said dissident leader Aung Gyi and former Prime Minister U Nu were prepared to accept the offer if opposition forces could form a majority in the administration.
The government seems "to be inching towards a compromise" with the demonstrators, the diplomat told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. "The question is will they go all the way and step down?"