Update: Troops Surround Monasteries in Myanmar

Update: Troops Surround Monasteries in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar- In attempts to prevent further pro-democracy protesting against its reign, the Myanmar junta government has sent truckloads of troops to guard a number of monasteries.  Security personnel have been placed in a park near the Sule Pagoda, the site of some of the biggest recent protests.  The government is now waiting to see if the monks and other protesters will continue their demonstrations in defiance of government directives.

During the night two well-known dissidents, U Win Naing, a veteran independent politician and Zanagar, a popular Myanmar film comedian, were arrested by the junta for supporting the marches.  Over the weekend they had prepared a meal for the monks in a show of support.

The first dusk-to-dawn curfew ended this morning, and the ban on five or more people assembling remains.  Officials state that these measures will remain in place for at least 60 days.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Head says the current scene in Yangon is similar to 1988, when the junta repressed pro-democracy protests and opened fire on unarmed demonstrators.

The young monks heading the protests have vowed to keep up the demonstrations; according to BBC News, that vow is certain to put them on a collision course with the army.

For more information, please see:

BBC News – Burma troops surround monasteries – 26 September 2007

Reuters – Myanmar troops guard activist Yangon monasteries – 26 September 2007