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Burma president issues unity call

Burma's president has warned that the powerful influence of big nations threatens the sovereignty of smaller ones.

In comments marking the 64th anniversary of independence from British rule, President Thein Sein made the traditional Independence Day call for national unity in the multi-ethnic nation.

But his warning about the influence of powerful nations went against his recent charm offensive toward the West.

His nominally civilian government has carried out some political and economic liberalisation since taking power last March after decades of military repression.

It is seeking to improve relations with Western nations so they remove sanctions which were imposed because of political repression and human rights abuses.

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