Security Council told of “serious concerns” as anti-government protests mount.
Armed guards usually block the road leading to the lakeside house, but in an unprecedented move, about 1,000 monks were allowed to march past.
There was no interruption from about 20 uniformed police who had opened the roadblock. After the monks left the road was closed again.
“I think all the people of Myanmar must act to get democracy for a better life”
aprat_1992, Denpasar, Indonesia
62-year-old Suu Kyi has become an internationally recognised figurehead of the pro-democracy movement being placed under house arrest by the government.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate now has virtually no contact with the outside world, apart from a live-in maid and periodic visits from her doctor.
Hundreds of onlookers in Yangon clapped and smiled as they followed the monks on the sixth consecutive day of demonstrations, witnesses said.
Soe Aung, a member of the National Council of the Union of Burma, an umbrella organisation for groups exiled from the country, told Al Jazeera: “People have supported them since day one … especially in Mandalay and Rangoon.”
The protest in Mandalay was the biggest march yet, at least 5,000 Buddhist maroon-robed monks reportedly walked through Myanmar’s second largest city. Other observers put the number of marchers at nearly 10,000.
“There were several thousand onlookers on both sides of their route, giving water to the monks,” one witness s
Relatives said the pair were freed on Friday after 1,000 monks had marched in Sittwe threatening more protests unless they were released.
“We pronounce the evil military despotism, which is impoverishing and pauperising our people of all walks, including the clergy, as the ‘common enemy’ of all our citizens,” the alliance said in a statement published on the Myanmar-focused Burmanet website.
The monks have not chanted anti-government slogans during their marches, but carried an upside-down alms bowl, a widely-recognised symbol of protest in Myanmar.
The protests have become the most sustained challenge to Myanmar‘s military rulers since a wave of student demonstrations that were forcibly suppressed in December 1998.