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Burma's military junta strikes back

The Irrawaddy, September 26, 2007

Yangon, Myanmar --  The following is a summary of actions taken by the millitary junta against the protestors. Reports were filed in as at noon, Rangoon time (1430 hours GMT).

Bahan, Rangoon; noon - Security forces at Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda struck out at demonstrators Wednesday noon, arresting about 50 protesting monks and attacking several hundred other monks and supporters. Tear gas was used to break up the demonstrations. Other protesters were gathering in another area of the Pagoda, according to eyewitnesses, who also saw a Western embassy car in the area.

Rangoon; around noon - Security authorities used tear gas and force to break up a peaceful demonstration by about 50 monks on Wednesday morning at Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda. The monks were beaten and bundled into waiting army trucks. The whereabouts of the arrested monks is unknown.

Rangoon; noon - Soldiers with assault rifles have sealed off sacred Buddhist monasteries such as Shwedagon Pagoda and Sule Pagoda, as well as other flashpoints of anti-government protests.

Rangoon; Early morning - Burmese authorities have arrested several key players who have been supporting the peaceful demonstrations and offering alms to monks, according to sources in Rangoon. At 2 a.m. the authorities arrested Amyotheryei Win Naing, one of the leaders of the Rangoon-based National Politicians Group (Myanmar); and a popular Burmese comedian, Zarganar. Also, the well-known Burmese actor Kyaw Thu has gone into hiding as the authorities were seeking to arrest him. The military government ordered a curfew beginning Tuesday night and several soldiers have taken up positions in Rangoon, including the area around Sule Pagoda.

Mandalay; Early morning - Burmese authorities arrested at least four people on Tuesday night at 2 a.m., according to a Mandalay resident close to the National League for Democracy. Three were members of the NLD and the other was the well-known comedian Pa Pa Lay.

Those arrested NLD members were: Tin Aung, elected representative (1990) for Northwest Township and Mandalay Division officer; Khin Maung Thaung, elected representative (1990) for Southwest Township; and Myo Naing, member of Mandalay Division.

The four were arrested after leading a group of 17 NLD members in offering alms to monks. The authorities also searched the room of Kyaw Zwa Oo, a youth member of Mandalay NLD, and confiscated some documents. Soldiers have taken up positions at several locations around Mandalay and authorities enforced a curfew on Tuesday night.

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