Man in Taunggok stages solo demonstration

Sep 11, 2007 (DVB), A man in Arakan state’s Taunggok township this morning staged a solo demonstration demanding State Peace and Development Council leader senior general Than Shwe be expelled from Buddhist religious society.

Ko Soe Win, a resident of Sar-Pyin village, was disappointed by soldiers’ aggressive crackdown on the monks’ protest in Pakokku last week, and walked the 20-mile journey to Taunggok to stage a solo demonstration, an eye-witness told DVB. Ko Soe Win held placards near the town market at around 8am, calling for the expulsion of Than Shwe from the Buddhist religion and the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the 88 generation students, but was arrested by township police and Ward Peace and Development Council officials.

"He was seen handcuffed and being led away by police officers," said the eye-witness.

Ko Soe Win’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Meanwhile, another source in Taunggok said that authorities have placed restrictions on mass-transportation between Taunggok and nearby villages for the past three days based on indications that local villagers were preparing for a public protest in Taunggok.

"They are refusing to permit boats and buses with a lot of passengers to enter the town," said the source, adding that travellers from more distant regions had no such problems.

Two other men were also arrested by Taunggok authorities on August 31 for protesting against increased fuel and commodity prices. They were released last Wednesday after being detained for five days.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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