10/06/2007, 00.00
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The world demonstrates in support of Myanmar

Peace marches in Europe, Asia and America in solidarity with Burmese people. The UN is still divided over the how to tackle the junta, in the hope that Beijing changes its position. Meanwhile the general’s publish their numbers regarding the repression and maintain that the majority have since been released.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Peaceful protests will be held across the world today against the repression of pro democracy activists in Myanmar. Meanwhile the UN remains divided over its coarse of action regarding the Burmese regime, which for its part admits having imprisoned numerous Buddhist monks, leaders of the fight against the dictatorship.


In the hopes that the military junta will realise that “the world is still watching” what is taking place in former Burma,  Amnesty International, has launched a day of peace marches in support of the people of Burma in many countries: including Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, France, Use and Canada.  In an official statement broadcast last night on state TV, the government insisted most of the monks it detained had already been freed, with only 109 still in custody. The report noted the junta was still hunting for four more monks it believed were ringleaders of the rallies. It is the first time that the government has officially published numbers regarding its crackdown: 10 people were and 2,100 were detained. The state media report said troops searched 18 monasteries where alleged rogue monks were living. Initially, authorities detained 513 monks, one novice, 167 men and 30 women lay disciples from the monasteries, most , the report claimed, were released after "careful scrutiny,". But dissident groups put the death toll at more than 200 and the number of detainees at nearly 6,000. 


A chorus of international voices are demanding the release of detained activists and direct talks with the opposition.  Sixty Noble prize winners have signed a letter of condemnation and an appeal for the release of Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Yesterday the 15 members of the UN Security Council listened to the special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who has just returned from a 4 day mission to Myanmar. Still no official declaration has been issued. It would seem that a mere draft is being circulated which condemns the “violent repression” of demonstrations.  Great Britain, France, and the USA are pushing for harsher sanctions, China and Russia are opposing them. Analysts maintain that only if the ext is also signed by Beijing, the junta’s greatest ally, would the document carry any weight with the generals.


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See also
UN against Myanmar: progress too “slow”
Aung San Suu Kyi meets junta official
ASEAN says no to Gambari to please Myanmar
Fourth day of protests, monks call for UN intervention
Despite more arrests monks take to the streets


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