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Burmese Police Stop Monks from Reaching Home of Democracy Leader


Burmese police have prevented Buddhist monks from reaching the home of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a sixth consecutive day of protests against Burma's military government.

Hundreds of monks and their supporters tried to march to the gates of Aung San Suu Kyi's Rangoon home today. Monks reached her home Saturday, leading to the democracy leader's first public appearance since 2003.

Earlier today, 20,000 people - half of them monks - marched in Rangoon in the largest show of defiance against the government in 20 years.

For the first time, the monks called on the public to join them, and nuns took part in the procession.

In New York, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she is watching the situation and called Burma's military government brutal.

Opposition activists started the anti-government demonstrations in mid-August after military leaders doubled the price of fuel. After police arrested at least 50 activists, the monks took the lead in the demonstrations.

Monks are highly regarded in the devoutly Buddhist country and are credited with helping rally popular support for a 1988 mass protest against the government. Government security forces ended those demonstrations with deadly force.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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