Myanmar still hunting dissidents

Military says 3,000 arrested as Dalai Lama and UN chief criticise crackdown.

united nations secretary-general ban ki-moon
Ban said the way demonstrators were treated was "abhorrent and unacceptable" [EPA]
‘Called in’
“Those who led, got involved in and supported the unrest which broke out in September were called in and are being interrogated,” the government’s New Light of Myanmar mouthpiece said on Wednesday.

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It said 2,927 people had been arrested since the crackdown started and nearly 500 were still in custody.

“Some are still being called in for questioning and those who should be released will be.”
In the last tally of arrests, released on October 8, the military said nearly 2,100 had been arrested.
Diplomats and dissidents say they believe up to 6,000 people were arrested in the crackdown, including thousands of monks who led the rallies.
They also believe the toll is much higher than the official figure of 10 given by the military when troops fired into crowds on September 26 and 27.
The opposition National League for Democracy party of detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said more than 300 party members had been detained since August, including 60 within the past week.
UN criticism
On Tuesday, Ban again urged the military government to move more quickly towards democracy.
“I would strongly urge the Myanmar authorities to implement fully the seven-point road map for democratisation,” he said in New York.
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The generals have rebuffed international criticism and say they will “march on” using their seven-point road map to democracy which is supposed to culminate with elections at an unspecified date.

So far, only the plan’s first stage – drawing up guidelines for a new constitution – has been completed, and that took more than a decade.
Critics say the road map is a ruse to allow the military to stay in power.
Ban said the way Myanmar authorities treated demonstrators was “abhorrent and unacceptable”.
“The Myanmar authorities should think about the future of their country and of their people, reflecting and respecting all the wishes of the international community,” he said.
“I hope that through continued dialogue between my special envoy, Mr
Gambari, and the Myanmar authorities, we will be able to make progress.”

Gambari is pressing Myanmar’s neighbours
to take the lead in resolving the crisis [AFP]

Gambari is on an Asian tour to press Myanmar’s neighbours to take the lead in resolving the crisis and is supposed to head back to Myanmar next month.

The Dalai Lama, on a visit to Washington on Tuesday, said the military’s beating of monks was “very bad” and reminded him of China’s treatment of Tibetan monks.
He made an “expression of my solidarity with the demonstrators” and also told the Myanmar military to tread lightly with fellow Buddhists.
“The junta, they are also Buddhists, so logically they should follow Buddhist teachings: non-violence or compassion – and beating a monk is very bad.”
Source: News Agencies


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