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Old 22-09-2007, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aung San Suu Kyi appears at protest in Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at protest in Burma

By Sarah Marcus and agencies
Last Updated: 4:17pm BST 22/09/2007


A Buddhist monk in Burma has described how Aung San Suu Kyi came out of her home and paid her respects to monks protesting against the ruling military junta.

In an unprecedented move, armed guards allowed about 1,000 protesting monks past the roadblocks leading to the Nobel Peace Prize winner's house.

She has been detained there for 12 of the past 18 years.

Aung San Suu Kyi has become an internationally recognised figurehead of the pro-democracy movement in Burma since her National League for Democracy won 1990 elections by a landslide.

The military never accepted the result and the 62-year-old now has virtually no contact with the outside world.

The monks stopped outside her home for about 15 minutes and chanted a Buddhist prayer.

Witnesses said Aung San Suu Kyi did not appear to speak to the monks.

There was no interruption from about 20 uniformed security police, who had opened the roadblock.

After the monks left the road was again closed.

One monk, who did not give his name, said "Today is extraordinary. We walked past lay disciple Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house today. We are pleased and glad to see her looking fit and well". "Daw" is a respectful term used in referring to older women.

The latest protest movement in Burma began on Aug 19 after the government raised fuel prices, but has its basis in underlying dissatisfaction with the repressive military regime.

The protests gained new life when the Buddhist monks joined. In the central city of Mandalay, a crowd of 10,000 people, including at least 4,000 monks, marched in one of the largest demonstrations since the 1988 democracy uprising, according to witnesses.

Aung Thu Nyein, a Thailand-based Burma analyst, called the encounter with Aung San Suu Kyi "a landmark event," but said the junta might be trying to appease the monks in hopes of taking the steam out of the protests.

"It shows the junta is trying to calm down the monks and protesters," he said.

"As the anti-junta movement has gained momentum, the junta is trying to take the heat out of the movement."

The unrest in Burma has raised concern in the international community and the Foreign Secretary David Miliband has pledged to bring up the issue at the UN General Assembly in New York next week.

telegraph.co.uk

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Old 22-09-2007, 11:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi greets Myanmar monks
09-22-2007, 06h03
YANGON (AFP)


This 1989 file pictures show detained Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Witnesses have said she stepped out of her home in tears to greet Buddhist monks marching past the place where she is confined by the military junta. It was a landmark moment for a swelling protest movement against the military junta.
(AFP/File)


Stepping out of her home in tears, Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi greeted Buddhist monks Saturday in a landmark moment for a swelling protest movement against the military junta.

Armed guards usually block the road leading to the rambling lakeside house, but in an unprecedented move, they allowed about 1,000 monks and an equal number of their supporters to walk past the place where she has been detained for 12 of the past 18 years.

As the rain poured down, Aung San Suu Kyi walked out with two other women and cried as she waved to the monks, witnesses said.

They stopped outside her home for about 15 minutes and chanted a Buddhist prayer: "May we be completely free from all danger, may we be completely free from all grief, may we be completely free from poverty, may we have peace in heart and mind."

Some of their supporters broke into tears as they joined in with their own refrain, chanting: "Long life and health for Aung San Suu Kyi, may she have freedom soon."

There was no interruption from about 20 uniformed security police, who had opened the roadblock. After the monks left the road was again closed.

The witnesses said Aung San Suu Kyi did not appear to speak to the monks, who have been leading an escalating show of strength that has left the junta facing its most prolonged challenge in nearly two decades.

The 62-year-old has become an internationally recognised figurehead of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar since her National League for Democracy won 1990 elections by a landslide.

The military has never recognised the result, however, and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate now has virtually no contact with the outside world, apart from a live-in maid and periodic visits from her doctor.

Earlier, thousands of monks had taken to the streets in Myanmar's main city, Yangon, and its second city, Mandalay, in their sixth straight day of marches.

The monks -- who are deeply respected in devoutly Buddhist Myanmar -- have become the effective standard-bearers for a protest movement that broke out a month ago after a huge hike in fuel prices and that has since gone nationwide.

More than 2,300 marched and prayed in five protests around Yangon, and a similar rally in Mandalay -- an important centre of Buddhist learning -- drew at least 1,000 monks, witnesses said.

Aung Thu Nyein, a Thailand-based Myanmar analyst, called the encounter with Aung San Suu Kyi "a landmark event," but said the junta might be trying to appease the monks in hopes of taking the steam out of the protests.

"It shows the junta is trying to calm down the monks and protesters," he said.

"As the anti-junta movement has gained momentum, the junta is trying to take the heat out of the movement."

The mounting turmoil has raised concern in the international community and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has pledged to bring up the issue at the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
Some monks are refusing to accept donations from the military in a gesture seen as a severe rebuke tantamount to excommunication for Buddhists.
Buddhists believe giving alms daily is an important religious duty.
The junta normally does not tolerate the slightest show of public dissent, and authorities during the past month have arrested more than 150 people.

They include Min Ko Naing, considered Myanmar's most prominent opposition leader after Aung San Suu Kyi.
Police so far have made no effort to stop the monks in Yangon over the past week, as the junta is worried a violent crackdown could spark public outrage, analysts say.

Monks were credited with helping to rally support for a 1988 pro-democracy uprising that was crushed with the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people.
Meanwhile, an underground Buddhist group calling itself the All Burma Monks Alliance issued a statement calling for nationwide prayer vigils.

The group said clergy would lead a "people's alliance" that would "struggle peacefully against the evil military dictatorship till its complete downfall."
The vigils would start from Sunday for three days, and the group urged the public to stand outside their homes for 15 minutes of prayers at 8:00 pm each evening.
turkishpress.com
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Old 23-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think this is just fantastic. It looks like it might get interesting in Burma.
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Old 23-09-2007, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the articles, Mid - they are very informative... I wonder how much longer the regime in Burma can last without a massive internal revolution?
 
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Old 23-09-2007, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dissident reveals his hand in Burma protests
By Anuj Chopra in Ragoon and Colin Freeman
Last Updated: 1:00am BST 23/09/2007


A pro-democracy leader who tops the "wanted" list of Burma's military rulers has revealed to The Sunday Telegraph how his movement has helped orchestrate the escalating street protests against the country's dictatorship.

In pictures: Burma's secret capital


Buddhist monks take part in protests on the streets of Rangoon


In a rare interview granted while on the run from the secret police, a veteran of the "1988 generation" – the student group whose last rebellion was brutally crushed – said his members had been secretly liaising with the Buddhist monks who have taken to the streets in recent days.

While the monks have so far been the public face of the protest – the biggest and boldest in more than a decade – the campaigner's comments are the first public confirmation that the two groups are working to form a joint challenge to the regime.

During a secret meeting in Burma's former capital, Rangoon, the activist, speaking under the pseudonym of "Mr Saw", told of his hopes that, this time, the country's generals might lose their nerve rather than respond with force.

Up to 3,000 people died in the suppression of the 1988 uprising, but such is the dire state of Burma's economy now that many of its 53 million people feel they have little left to lose.

"Our cadres have for weeks been coaxing the Buddhist clergy to join the protest movement," said Mr Saw.

"People might be encouraged to shed their fears if the monks take to the streets. The senior clergy close to the regime were reluctant to take part, but the younger monks are showing a keen interest."

However, Mr Saw, who spent four years in jail after the 1988 rebellion, said many ordinary Burmese were afraid to join the kind of mass protests necessary to topple the junta.

"In 1988, people put their faith in the students," he said. "There was much bloodshed, people sacrificed lives, but nothing happened.

"This time, people are watching cautiously. There's a lot of risk involved – people who participate will be locked up in a dark prison for a good part of their lives. There's fear: they're thinking, 'Will our sacrifices go to waste this time as well?'"

Democracy activists began the protests a month ago, but they petered out until they enlisted the monks last week. Because of the respect the monks enjoy in the religiously devout nation, the ruling generals are wary of suppressing them with the kind of brutality used against others.

Their latest demonstration went past the house of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's Nobel Peace Prize-winning opposition activist, who has been under house arrest since 2003.

She came out of her house and wept as they filed past. Although she made no speech, the fact that the police permitted the monks to make the gesture of solidarity in the first place was unusual.

Mr Saw said that although anyone caught providing shelter for activists faced jail, they continued to enjoy support. "People have been scared to come onto the streets," he said.

"But many Burmese have been contributing in their own surreptitious ways. You knock on a door late at night, and whisper, 'Let me in, brother'. People willingly help us, even though they're well aware of the dire consequences."

He outlined the dire conditions in which his countrymen now lived. "The junta spends 40 per cent of its budget on its 450,000-strong army. Only a sliver of the budget goes to health care and education.

"There was a time when Burma was known as Asia's rice bowl, yet today nearly a third of Burmese are malnourished or physically underdeveloped."
He remains acutely aware, though, of the fate that awaits him should the secret police catch up.

Recalling his arrest in 1988, he said: "I was held in tiny seven-by-10ft cells, where I saw my fellow inmates beaten to death in front of me."
telegraph.co.uk
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Old 23-09-2007, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nuns join Myanmar protests for first time
Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:08am EDT
By Aung Hla Tun


MYANMAR (Reuters) - Buddhist nuns joined the growing protests against Myanmar's ruling generals on Sunday, a day after a dramatic appearance by detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to pray with monks now leading the marches.

About 100 nuns joined more than 1,000 monks to pray at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, devoutly Buddhist Myanmar's holiest shrine, before marching to the centre of the former capital.

There were no signs of trouble. There were no police or soldiers in sight and people on the streets applauded as the marchers passed.

snip

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Old 23-09-2007, 03:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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wow, i just hope it doesnt turn nasty if the junta decides it has gone on long enough
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Old 23-09-2007, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If the junta was to decide to open fire on the monks, or anything nasty like that, then the people would come after the junta. I only hope and pray world powers are ready to step in and stop it before it becomes another killing field.


Those monks are men to be proud of. Burma deserves to be free as do all countries.
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Old 23-09-2007, 04:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I I only hope and pray world powers are ready to step in and stop it before it becomes another killing field.
Don't hold your breath, my apologies for being cynical, but there have been ample opportunities to step in or 'force' the junta do do something - anything - but there is simply not the slightest interest that goes past lip-service.

How much has been done for China to free Tibet . . . and worse crimes have been committed there by China . . . Not going to happen.
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Old 23-09-2007, 04:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ceburat View Post
If the junta was to decide to open fire on the monks, or anything nasty like that, then the people would come after the junta.
erm.

Cambodia?

Tiananmen square?

many others.
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Old 23-09-2007, 04:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Emboldened Myanmar monks challenge junta rule
1 hour ago


YANGON (AFP) — Emboldened after a march to see Myanmar's detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, 20,000 people led by Buddhist monks on Sunday launched their biggest challenge yet against the ruling junta.
They marched in the pouring rain in Yangon from the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most important landmark, witnesses said.

In the most serious challenge to the junta in nearly two decades, the 10,000 monks were joined by for the first time by nuns and followed by about 10,000 supporters.

"We are marching for the people," chanted the monks. "We want the people to join us."

Earlier Sunday, about 300 monks held a prayer vigil for one hour in Magway town, about 375 kilometres (230 miles) north of the commercial hub Yangon, while about 500 monks also joined a protest in the central city of Mandalay.

snip

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Old 23-09-2007, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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By May Ng

After bringing down heavenly wrath and facing the possibility of eternal damnation, it is certainly time for the Myanmar military to think and speak before resorting to violence against their political opponents.

According to an Afghan soldier, the first rule he learnt about democracy was to ask questions before shooting and he said that it was the hardest of all.

As Ko Moe Thee Zun, a student leader in exile often warns, junta's favourite old tactics of using thugs and monk imposters to stir up trouble in preludes to army crackdowns, will be useless against people this time in the face of overwhelming public distrust of the government.

The military must realize that unlike in 1988, the whole world is now watching. If the junta unleashes violence now, it will guarantee the beginning of the end of the Tatmadaw. The military has used violence and coercion since 1988 to subdue the political opposition and each time it inflames the passion for resistance even more.

As Ko Ko Gi has forewarned, the people to no longer fear the army.

snip

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Old 23-09-2007, 04:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mid
it will guarantee the beginning of the end of the Tatmadaw.
Sadly 'guarantees', like 'the inevitable' are not . . . until they happen



(Wow, that was deep - I must get out of the office and go home!!!!!)
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Old 23-09-2007, 04:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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gut feeling is that this is for all the marbles ,

the Monks have called the junta to resign and stated that they won't stop until that's a fact .

keeping the worlds attention is critical now ..........................
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Old 23-09-2007, 05:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mid View Post
gut feeling is that this is for all the marbles ,

the Monks have called the junta to resign and stated that they won't stop until that's a fact .

keeping the worlds attention is critical now ..........................
I think I agree with you. This might be the beginning of the end for at least one of the sides...probably the unarmed one.
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Old 23-09-2007, 05:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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seen any of the vids ?

shit

was the better halfs reaction ......................
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Old 23-09-2007, 05:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think the Burmese have been down for so long I'm not sure they have the resolve.., even if nuns and monks get whacked.
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Old 23-09-2007, 05:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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remember they used tear gas earlier ,

and there's this post at the end of the old thread

http://teakdoor.com/406156-post14.html
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Old 23-09-2007, 06:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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ASEAN leader appeals for restraint amid Myanmar's growing anti-government protests
23.09.2007 13:21:20

(live-PR.com) -
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations' chief urged Myanmar authorities Sunday to avoid any «strong action» against growing anti-government protests, in hopes of avoiding violence.

snip

«I hope the relevant authorities in Myanmar will not take any strong action and turn the protests into a big confrontation,» ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong told The Associated Press by telephone from Poland.

The 10-country ASEAN, which includes Myanmar, was concerned over the protests and its foreign ministers would likely take up the issue when they meet on Sept. 27 in New York on the sidelines of an annual United Nations meeting, said Ong, who was to deliver a speech in Poland before flying to New York.

«Things are becoming more serious. However, I don't know what ASEAN foreign ministers can do at this stage,» he said.

snip

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Old 23-09-2007, 07:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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^^ That is interesting if the Shan state drug warlords breach their peace with the Junta and start supporting the people. That used to be the largest private standing army in the world under Khun Sa, the nasty biggest heroin king in the world in those days. I'm not up on Burmese situation to hazard a guess, but if those armies turn against the Junta, there could be a real overthrow of the government; but then, it would be drug lords running the country....
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Old 23-09-2007, 08:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Buddhist monks, accompanied by civilians, marching in protest against the military government in Yangon, Myanmar, on Sunday. (The Mandalay Gazette via AP)

Challenge to Myanmar's military junta gains momentum


By Seth Mydans
Published: September 23, 2007




BANGKOK: The most serious popular challenge to Myanmar's military junta in nearly two decades gained momentum Sunday as thousands of onlookers cheered huge columns of barefoot monks and shouted support for the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, witnesses said.

Marching for the sixth day through rainy streets in Yangon, the antigovernment protest swelled to a reported 10,000 monks, one day after several hundred monks paid respects to Aung San Suu Kyi at the gate of her home, the first time the Nobel laureate had been seen in public in four years.

Photographs said to have been taken Sunday showed huge numbers of monks in their dark red robes parading between cordons of civilians, who walked along with them holding hands in protective human chains. Nuns, in robes with their heads shaved, also joined the demonstration.

Monks were reported to be parading through the streets of a number of other cities as well, notably the country's second city, Mandalay, where wire services said 10,000 people, including 4,000 monks, had marched on Saturday.

The link between the clergy and the leader of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, as well as calls by some monks for a wider protest, raised the stakes for the government, which has mostly kept its hands off the monks for fear of a public backlash.

snip

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Old 23-09-2007, 08:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Don't hold your breath, my apologies for being cynical, but there have been ample opportunities to step in or 'force' the junta do do something - anything - but there is simply not the slightest interest that goes past lip-service.
China has huge financial interests in Burma. Unfortunatley they're a world power to be very careful of and not want to piss off. They'll be on Burmas side pretty quick if the shit hits the fan.
The Burmese have been in a terrible plight for a long time. The general public are very nice people, dispite years of abuse. It's also a very beautiful and intersting country. A real shame that this crap has been allowed to go on for so long.
The main problem is that the majority of the outside world have never heard of Burma so have no idea and some of the ones that have only know about Aung San Suu Kyi, but there are plenty of people in far off position than she is. These Hollywood wankers are a joke. They jump on the band wagon to be in vouge.
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Old 23-09-2007, 11:49 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Rregional perspective: UN Security Council: The real battle on Burma

One would have thought that in the Beltway's scheme of things, Middle East politics is the only dominant global issue.
Published on September 24, 2007



However, a few days in Washington DC demonstrated that a sudden shift of attention could happen at any time. Washington-based diplomats usually agree that US officials in the capitol have a short attention span. But it will be different this time round because the world's most powerful couple, President George W Bush and Laura Bush, have their eyes fixed on Burma as well.

Reports and hundreds of photos of the peaceful protests by Buddhist monks in the past week were seen and discussed by the powerful couple at the White House. Bush has renewed his call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. Apparently, the president is willing to do more bilaterally and internationally to bring pressure to bear on Burma. His wife has already become a tireless and gracious campaigner in the effort to promote women's rights in Burma, as well as Afghanistan.

Last week, Ibrahim Gambari, the UN special envoy for Burma, called for a unified global approach during his briefing to the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC). He said the latest events were a clear setback for Burma. He also expressed concern for those in detention, especially those on a hunger strike and said he hoped that the junta would heed worldwide calls for their release, as well as that of all political prisoners. He urged the international community to persevere

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Old 24-09-2007, 11:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Monks’ Protest Is Challenging Burmese Junta
By SETH MYDANS
Published: September 24, 2007



A reported 10,000 monks filled the main city of Yangon on Sunday in the rain.
Reuters

BANGKOK, Monday, Sept. 24 — The largest street protests in two decades against Myanmar’s military rulers gained momentum Sunday as thousands of onlookers cheered huge columns of Buddhist monks and shouted support for the detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Winding for a sixth day through rainy streets, the protest swelled to 10,000 monks in the main city of Yangon, formerly Rangoon, according to witnesses and other accounts relayed from the closed country, including some clandestinely shot videos.

It came one day after a group of several hundred monks paid respects to Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi at the gate of her home, the first time she has been seen in public in more than four years.

The link between the clergy and the leader of the country’s pro-democracy movement, the beginnings of large-scale public participation in the marches and a call by some monks for a wider protest raised the stakes for the government.

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Old 24-09-2007, 11:50 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Diplomat: Myanmar junta shows restraint despite growing protests because of China's pressure
24.09.2007

(live-PR.com) -
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - The Myanmar junta is showing unexpected restraint in the face of the country's biggest protests in two decades because of pressure from its key trading partner China, an Southeast Asian diplomat said Monday.

snip

A Southeast Asian diplomat, speaking on condition anonymity citing protocol, said the regime is under pressure from China to avoid a crackdown just as its larger neighbor has pressured it to speed up other democratic changes.

«The Myanmar government is tolerating the protesters and not taking any action against the monks because of pressure from China,» the diplomat told The Associated Press. «Beijing is to host the next summer's Olympic Games. Everyone knows that China is the major supporter of the junta so if government takes any action it will affect the image of China.

China, which is counting on Myanmar's vast oil and gas reserves to fuel its booming economy, earlier this year blocked a U.N. Security Council criticizing Myanmar's rights record saying it was not the right forum.

But at the same time, it has employed quiet diplomacy and subtle public pressure on the regime, urging it to move toward inclusive democracy and speed up the process of dialogue and reform.

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