Myanmar official media charge monks demonstrations

Updated: 2007-09-19 15:59

YANGON - Myanmar official media charged on Wednesday that Tuesday's monks demonstrations in the country's western state and Yangon with being incited by destructive elements from inside and outside the country.

According to the New Light of Myanmar, some 100 each Buddhist monks, whom the report described as bogus ones, staged protest walks in Sittway in the Rakhine state in two separate locations, which were followed by about some 500 people on each incident.

The protest walks turned into violence, said the report, adding that after firing tear-gas bombs into the protestors and some shots in the air in both incidents, the demonstrators dispersed finally in the afternoon, leaving a township official and nine policemen injured.

The report claimed that no monk or no person involved in the incident injured or arrested out of careful handling of the situation.

Besides, on the same day, there also broke out protest walks by some hundreds of Buddhist monks in the biggest city of Yangon, marching peacefully on some main roads of the city leading to some pagodas.

The report disclosed that some other towns in the country also saw similar protest walks staged by monks.

Tuesday's monks demonstrations were a follow-up of a violent one which took place in Magway division's Pakokku on September 5 and 6, in which four local-department-owned cars were put on fire.

"Senior monks and the majority of the members of the Sangha (monks) are opposed to such protest walks and violence," the report commented.

Since August 19, a series of small-scale demonstrations have scattered in several locations in the biggest city of Yangon and other places outside Yangon such as Bago, Yenangyaung, Sittway and Labutta seemingly in protest against massive fuel price hike.

These series of demonstrations, charged with instigating to cause unrest in the country, were promptly broken up by the authorities.

The authorities said earlier that it has detained 15 activists since August 21, who claimed themselves as "88 Generation Students Group". The authorities accused the group, led by Min Ko Naing, of instigating the people to various campaigns to incite popular uprising in collaboration with some anti-government organizations in exile.

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