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Burmese Government Supporters Block Democracy Demonstration


Supporters of Burma's military-run government have blocked a demonstration calling for the release of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

Government supporters stopped at least 300 activists today from reaching a Buddhist pagoda in downtown Rangoon, where they planned to pray for the detained Nobel Peace laureate.

The activists later held their vigil at the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

61 year old Aung San Suu Kyi has been held under house arrest for most of the past 17 years. The government extended her detention Friday by another year.

Pro-democracy activists marked the 17th anniversary today of the NLD's election victory. The opposition party easily won national elections on May 27th, 1990, but Burma's military leaders never recognized the results.

The military government says it is implementing a roadmap to democracy, but human rights groups and Western countries complain the reforms are too slow.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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