Tuesday, September 25

Burma update: Regime imposes curfew; protests across the nation as far as Bangladesh border

Washington Post:
In what could be a foretaste of things to come, several hundred monks protesting in the northwestern city of Sittwe were attacked with tear gas and roughed up by security forces, the Reuters news agency reported. Others were reported arrested, sparking anger among their fellow monks in Rangoon. [...]

Foreign correspondents have been barred. But voluminous images of the protesting monks [...] have been dispatched out of the country during the past week by e-mail and cellphone, providing vivid television footage and newspaper photographs.

Channel 4 News:
... a stark warning came from the UN's human rights investigator for Burma, who said he feared a "very severe repression" and urged leading powers to intervene.
Myanmar's junta slapped dusk-till-dawn curfews on the country's two largest cities late Tuesday after Buddhist monks defied warnings of a crackdown and led 100,000 people in another day of mass protests.

The edict, effective Wednesday in Yangon [Rangoon] and Mandalay, came after the ruling generals -- under pressure after eight straight days of peaceful protests led by the monks -- sent truckloads of armed soldiers and riot police into Yangon. [Edict good for 60 days].

"This order was issued because of the protests. Do not organise groups of more than five people," the announcement said, reiterating a long-time ban on assemblies that has been ignored as the number of demonstrators has swelled." [...]

Exiled groups reported that monks and their supporters had rallied right across the impoverished nation, as far as the western border with Bangladesh.[...]

UN chief Ban Ki-moon opened the annual General Assembly summit in New York on Tuesday with a call to the Myanmar regime to "exercise restraint" in the face of the escalating pro-democracy protests.
From another AFP report, the regime declared the entire city of Rangoon a military "restricted" area -- a term normally reserved for military or conflict zones.

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