Mon 26 Feb 2007
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Burma’s military authorities arrested more people over the weekend in connection with last Thursday’s Rangoon demonstration demanding better living conditions.
According to sources close to those arrested, at least eight people are now being held. One, identified as Win May, was arrested on Saturday evening at the home in Sanchaung Township, Rangoon, of a National League for Democracy member, Nyunt Hlaing. Police called while she was visiting him, Nyunt Hlaing told The Irrawaddy on Monday.
Win May was among about 25 people who marched in downtown Rangoon last Thursday demanding lower commodities prices, better health care, education and reliable power supplies.
Police arrested the leader of the protesters, Htin Kyaw, and another person after the demonstration. Three other people were arrested later on Thursday.
All those arrested are reportedly being held at Aung Thabye holding center in Rangoon.
Anti-government protests are rare in military ruled Burma. Thursday’s demonstration has particularly worried the regime because it attracted the attention of exile-based and international media.
Support for the protesters and condemnation of the arrests came from opposition groups, including the National League for Democracy and the 88-Generation Students group.
â€œThis is the government’s discrimination against its own citizens,â€ said a statement released by the 88 Generation group on Monday.
Ko Ko Gyi, a prominent former student leader of the group, pointed out that the junta is arresting anti-government protesters while the state-owned media praises pro-junta protesters who demonstrated in front of the US and British embassies against efforts to get a resolution condemning the military junta adopted by the UN Security Council.
â€œThey praised those who protested against US and Britain, saying they were acting for the benefit of and on behalf of Burmese citizens,â€ Ko Ko Gyi told The Irrawaddy. â€œThese people [who demonstrated in Rangoon last Thursday] are not making any political statements, they are expressing themselves peacefully about their daily hardships. We don’t think they should be arrested.â€