10,000 Monk March

Aung San Suu Kyi.jpgIn the largest anti-junta demonstration in Burma (Myanmar) since the ones in 1988 which drove the country to open elections, 10,000 Buddhist monks marched in Yangon for Democracy. 10,000 others joined them as they marchedĀ for the sixth straight day.

Aung San Suu Kyi was said to have greeted them from her porch the day prior as some were allowed to see her. Aung San is under house arrest, the legitimate head of the country who was overthrown after winning popular elections 1990. Since then the country has been ruled by SLORC, and the dictator Than Shwe, while the democratic government lives in exile. Story at ABC,

More info on Burma/Myanmar here, Previous articles on San Suu Kyi here.

The 10,000 monks marched from Yangon’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda to the nearby Sule Pagoda before passing the U.S. Embassy, witnesses said. Monks shouted support for detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, while the crowd of 10,000 protected them by forming a human chain along the route.

It was the sixth straight day monks have marched in Yangon, and came a day after they were allowed to walk past Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Suu Kyi’s compound in a symbolic gesture of support. Their activities have given new life to a protest movement that began a month ago after the government raised fuel prices.

burmese-monk-march.jpgA monk gave a speech Sunday calling for Suu Kyi’s release and national reconciliation before the monks set off from the Shwedagon Pagoda, the witness said.

The protest was the largest in the latest series to erupt in Yangon.

Earlier Sunday, the government had deployed about 20 pro-junta thugs and 20 riot police on the road leading to Suu Kyi’s compound, witnesses said. A fire truck was parked nearby.

While authorities had not intervened in Sunday’s march, plainclothes police trailed behind the marchers and some with shotguns were posted at street corners along the route.