Pressure rises in Myanmar protests

first_imgBy The Associated Press YANGON, Myanmar – Hundreds of demonstrating Buddhist monks marched past barricades to the home of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, raising pressure on the junta by symbolically uniting their growing protest movement with the icon of Myanmar’s long struggle for democracy. The two strands of the escalating opposition to Myanmar’s military government came together on a tree-lined Yangon street after police unexpectedly let more than 500 monks and other protesters through a roadblock. Suu Kyi has been seen by only a handful of guards, servants and her doctors for more than four years. Monks have been marching for the past five days in Myanmar’s biggest city and around the country as a month of protests against economic problems under the junta have ballooned into the biggest grass-roots challenge to its rule in two decades. By linking their cause to Suu Kyi’s activism, which has seen her detained for about 12 of the past 18 years, the monks increase the pressure on the junta to decide whether to crack down or to compromise with the demonstrators. The government has been handling the well-respected monks’ disciplined but defiant protests gingerly, aware that forcibly breaking them up in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar would likely cause public outrage. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more