Approximately 200 monks have staged a protest in Pakkoku, central Burma, the first such protest since the military government's brutal repression of the pro-democracy movement last month.About 100 monks marched Wednesday in central Myanmar for the first time since the junta's bloody crackdown on anti-government protests last month, witnesses said. The monks marched around the town of Pakokku for about 30 minutes chanting Buddhist prayers, town residents said, adding that they did not shout any political slogans. "These monks were marching for the first time after the crackdown," said one woman in Pakokku. "It is really strange." The march followed a mass pro-government demonstration staged by about 100,000 people in the same town in the morning. Participants denounced the earlier protests against Myanmar's military rulers. Pakokku, located about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of the commercial capital Yangon, was the scene of an unprecedented standoff between authorities and monks, who took about 20 security officials hostage on September 6 after troops violently broke up an anti-junta protest.
Date created : 2007-10-31