Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Burmese Monks March Again Ahead of Visit by UN Envoy

BANGKOK, Thursday, Nov. 1 — A small group of Buddhist monks held a protest march in Myanmar on Wednesday in the first significant public show of defiance since troops crushed a pro-democracy uprising a month ago.

Reports from inside the country said 100 to 200 monks had defied a ban on assembly and marched through the streets of Pakokku, a medium-sized city in central Myanmar that was the site of a clash between monks and soldiers in September that set off the mass protests in larger cities.

Aung Din, a Burmese dissident living in Washington, predicted more challenges to the government with the approaching return of the United Nations special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari. Mr. Gambari, who had visited shortly after the crackdown, will meet with a “a broad range of representatives of Myanmar society” from Saturday through next Thursday, the United Nations said.
The monks in Pakokku on Wednesday reportedly demanded lower fuel prices and the release of political prisoners.

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