Burmese military block internet access as support for protests goes global

By staff writers
28 Sep 2007

UPDATE: There is more information coming in all the time. Ekklesia will do a further round up later, including news of the boycott of Total called by JustChurch Bradford. In the meantime, you can check http://faithinsociety.blogspot.com/ and the CBox Burma News 'twitter' is here: http://burmanews.cbox.ws/

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Burma's military junta appears to have cut public internet access to prevent the broadcast of videos, photographs and information about the violent attacks on protesters against the junta's rule - report global news agencies.

Protestors across the world have been using the worldwide web to circulate information about what is going on in Burma, and to support civic protests for an end to dictatorship and the restoration of democracy.

The demonstrations began nearly ten days ago under the leadership of Buddhist monks. They have grown in numbers and conviction, leading the junta to crackdown, resulting in nine deaths so far - according to official figures.

The dictatorship is arresting and imprisoning Buddhist monks as fast as it can. Protest leaders say that 700 have been jailed so far, with the number rising by the hour. They have raided dozens of monasteries.

While the regime is stating that only 9 have been killed so far, the number is far closer to 200 according to reports on the ground - which say that the military have snipers on tops of buildings to pick of the leaders of protests.

A report in the London Times newspaper says that internet cafes were closed and the help desk at the main Internet service provider did not answer its telephones to explain why there was no access.

Embassies and the United Nations are not yet affected by the web ban, according to diplomatic sources.

The authorities in Central Rangoon are said to have been sealed off by soldiers and police in anticipation of further protests today and 'danger zones' are reported to be in place around key protest sites.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands are expected at demonstrations in support of democracy in Burma around the world this weekend - including a march in London on Sunday 30 September 2007 from 11:30am - 4:00pm. It will proceed from Trafalgar Square to the Burmese Embassy.

See also on Ekklesia: Burma's spiritual revolt against repression, by Christian Peacemaker Teams' founder Gene Stoltzfus - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5807

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