Pro-Junta Thugs Crush Democracy Protest in Burma
A rare protest took place in Myanmar this weekend. Hundreds of pro-democracy activists gathered to protest for the release of leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for 11 of the last 18 years.
Pro-junta thugs crushed the protest and dragged away one of the opposition leaders.
Pro-junta thugs in Burma clashed with hundreds of supporters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, hurling abuse and preventing them from marching to a prayer vigil for the detained Nobel laureate, witnesses said.
Holding photos of the 61-year-old, about 500 members of her National League for Democracy party shouted “Free Aung San Suu Kyi” as they staged a rally outside the party’s headquarters in Burma’s largest city, Rangoon.
The supporters had intended to go on to a Buddhist pagoda in downtown Rangoon to pray for Suu Kyi’s release, but were blocked by about 100 supporters of the junta, leading to a tense stand-off, witnesses said.
The junta supporters shouted abuse at the other side for about 15 minutes, and one NLD elected member was dragged away by them, witnesses said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“Please understand that we are not frightened by your threats … we will proceed with peaceful gatherings,” Min Ko Naing, a prominent anti-government activist, was quoted as telling the junta supporters. “We can pray for her from here,” he said from outside the NLD head office.
Police vans were parked near by. The rally ended peacefully.
Aung San Suu Kyi found out on Friday that she would have to spend yet another year under house arrest.