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Burmese Authorities Arrest Four Prominent Activists


Reports from Southeast Asia say four prominent activists have been arrested in Burma, as the country's military government continues its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The human rights group, Amnesty International, says Htay Kywe, Mie Mie and Aung Thu three of the activists arrested today - Saturday were part of a group of student leaders who led a pro-democracy uprising in 1988.

Since late August, 13 members of the so-called 88 Generation Students group have been reported arrested.

Also today, the military government organized a mass rally at a sports stadium in Rangoon, bringing in thousands of people to chant pro-government slogans. Sources say many of the participants were brought in by bus from other parts of the city.

The UN special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, is heading to southeast Asia to visit other countries in the region before returning to Burma for his second trip since the military crackdown.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council issued a statement deploring the military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, and calling for a genuine dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma's military government rejected the statement, saying the situation in Burma does not harm regional peace and security.

Burmese officials say the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters left 10 people dead. Dissidents put the number of fatalities at 200.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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