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Burma Monks' Protests Continue


Thousands of Buddhist monks have marched with their supporters through Burma's main city of Rangoon and other areas in protest against the government, one day after authorities used force to suppress a similar procession.

Witnesses say several hundred monks marched to Sule Pagoda Wednesday after authorities prevented them from entering Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma's holiest shrine. Monks also staged smaller rallies in other parts of the capital.

Witnesses say plainclothes police followed the monks and videotaped the procession, but did not intervene.

More than one thousand monks in Sittwe held a sit-in to demand the release of men jailed during Tuesday's protest. The monks urged the public not to join in.

Burma's military rulers acknowledge using tear gas and firing warning shots Tuesday to break up a protest of about one thousand monks in Sittwe, 550 kilometers northwest of Rangoon.

The state-run "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper says authorities used force after the monks in Sittwe became violent. State radio blamed the opposition National League for Democracy for causing what it called riots and terrorist acts. The broadcast also accused the opposition party of sending fake monks, students and workers into monasteries, schools and factories to instigate unrest.

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor-comedian Jim Carrey has appeared in an online video urging action against human rights abuses in Burma.

The 45-year-old actor is appealing to viewers to e-mail United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to "coordinate a strong response from the United Nations Security Council."

Carrey appeared in another online video last month, urging people to support jailed Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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