Pro-democracy Protests Mark Myanmar Anniversary





Twenty years after it violently suppressed a bid by more than a million peaceful protesters to restore democracy, Myanmar's military junta was on high alert Friday with riot police guarding the country's main city and detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's home.

While no protests were reported in Myanmar itself, activists around Asia planned to mark the 20th anniversary with demonstrations at the embassies of both Myanmar and China, a key ally of the junta that critics say could pressure the leadership to bring about change. The protests also coincide with the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"We are here because China is the main supporter of the military regime," said Kyaw Lin Oo, a Myanmar activist living in Thailand and who was among 30 protesters at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok.

"We want the Chinese government to understand the actual cost of their support to the people inside of Burma," he said, using the country's former name. "China can help our democratization process by putting pressure on the military regime."

He later joined about 100 others outside the Myanmar Embassy. They chanted "Free Burma, Free Aung San Suu Kyi" and threw red paper airplanes with the message "We will never forget. We will never give up. 1988." over the embassy wall.

No one was arrested.

A similar protest was held in the Philippine capital, Manila, where some 50 people demonstrated outside the Chinese Consulate...



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