YANGON, Myanmar, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A top opposition leader says United Nations-backed talks between dissidents and Myanmar's regime are a sham to fend off international pressure.
The leader, who is in hiding in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is known only by his codename "Phoenix," The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
In talks held Friday, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy, was taken from house arrest to meet a government negotiator. The talks were organized by Ibrahim Gambari, the envoy sent by the United Nations to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, after the military junta crushed massive protests last summer.
Phoenix is the acting leader of a group of activists who led demonstrations in 1988 against the junta when 3,000 protesters were killed by the army. Phoenix told the Telegraph he fears the new talks are a sham and that the pro-democracy movement, weakened and on the run, still believes it can overthrow the junta.
"It seems like a trap set by the government to buy some time from the international community," Phoenix said. "Mr. Gambari is trying to come again but I don't expect much of what he can do."