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Rare Protest in Burma Quickly Suppressed


Official media in Burma say a public demonstration in Rangoon was an illegal protest.

The reports today follow a rare demonstration late Thursday in Rangoon by about 25 people with banners and placards, demanding the military government lower consumer prices, offer pension benefits, and improve health care and education.

Authorities initially allowed the protest, but stopped it after a half hour and arrested at least one man - the protest leader. Police also briefly detained three local journalists covering the event.

A state-run newspaper says authorities might take further action against those involved.

A spokeswoman, Debbie Stothardt, for a regional human rights group, Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, says high inflation, economic mismanagement, and international sanctions have increased people's dissatisfaction. She says more protests can be expected.

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