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Myanmar president says government corruption is getting in the way of reforms

Myanmar's president has voiced public criticism of his government, saying that rampant corruption and bribery are getting in the way of the country's much-touted reform process.

In another sign of the changes sweeping Myanmar, President Thein Sein on Wednesday reprimanded a gathering of Cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats in a speech broadcast on nationwide television and radio.

It marked a sharp contrast to secretive leadership of the former military regime which did not admit its own failings.

Thein Sein told the gathering that "good governance is still very weak in Myanmar" compared to international norms. He added "bribery and corruption must be effectively prevented in order to implement good governance."

The 67-year-old ex-general has won international praise for spearheading a wave of democratic reforms after a half-century of military rule.