By Elizabeth O’Loughlin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
YANGON, Myanmar- Small protests continued today in Yangon. The demonstrations were quickly addressed as security forces took protesters away in trucks, and there are some reports of protesters being beaten. The number of protesters has decreased dramatically since the government began its crackdown earlier this week.
The United Nations’ Special Envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, arrived in Myanmar today. He will be meeting with junta officials in Naypidaw, however it is not clear if he will be meeting with leader General Than Shwe or pro-democracy leaders.
There is local and world pessimism over whether Gambari’s visit will cause change. Western nations have insisted that the UN act more forcefully to quell the junta’s actions. The United States has been trying to persuade nations to cut off investment and trade into Myanmar. China however has been blocking these efforts to destabilize Myanmar.
The authorities have continued to shut down communications, including cell phones and internet access. Since its rise to power in 1962 the junta has attempted to keep information from leaving the country, but Myanmar news has reached the world community via internet and blogs. The internet has been especially important in sharing the news of the protests and government crackdown over the past month.
This AP photo, released by the Free Burma Rangers, shows protests on Tuesday in a remote village on the border of Thailand.
For more information, please see:
Yahoo! News (AP) – Myanmar protests falter after crackdown – 29 September 2007
AHN – Pro-Democracy Protests Resume in Myanmar Despite Crackdown – 29 September 2007
The New York Times – U.S. Steps Up Confrontation With Myanmar’s Rulers – 29 September 2007
ABC News – Blogging for Political Change: Myanmar’s Dissidents – 29 September 2007
Impunity Watch – Authorities in Myanmar Cut Communications Amongst More Protests – 28 September 2007
Impunity Watch – UN Holding Emergency Talks on Myanmar – 26 September 2007