Myanmar monks resume protests ahead of UN rights envoy visit

[JURIST] Some 100 Buddhist monks marched peacefully in a town in central Myanmar Wednesday, marking a resumption of the pro-democratic protests that stopped after September's violent government crackdown. The monks carried no protest signs and shouted no pro-democracy slogans and dispersed after an hour to their monasteries. A spokesman said their demonstration was only a continuation [Democratic Voice of Burma report] of previous protests, but it was the first since a 100,000-person protest on September 26-27 culminated in police killing at least 10 people and rounding up thousands more. The action by the monks came just days before UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari is slated to revisit Myanmar [UN press release; JURIST report] to address human rights concerns and to help facilitate dialog between the country's military junta and opposition leaders.

The government crackdown against protesters began in August, when Myanmar security officers arrested hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against rising fuel prices and human rights abuses by the military regime. Protests only subsided when junta troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. The government lifted some of the curfews and assembly bans [JURIST report] on October 20, but the country still faces tightening European and American sanctions. AP has more.

 

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