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Myanmar monks lead first 'Saffron Revolution' ceremony

Published on Sep 18, 2012 6:52 PM
Myanmar Buddhist monks listen to a speech during a gathering marking the first ever rally to mark the "Saffron Revolution" at a monastery in Yangon on Sept 18, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (AFP) - More than 100 people, including dozens of monks, gathered at a Yangon monastery on Tuesday in the first ever rally to mark the "Saffron Revolution" which was brutally crushed by Myanmar's junta five years ago.

The first public commemoration of the 2007 protests, which saw tens of thousands of Buddhists in their striking red robes take to the streets in defiance of the country's military dictators, comes amid sweeping changes in Myanmar under the reformist government of ex-general President Thein Sein.

"We are here to commemorate the anniversary of the September 2007 revolution. We will read some statements and pray for the monks, students and people who lost their lives during the revolution," Mr Agga Dammha, a monk who organised the ceremony, told AFP.

At least 31 people were killed and hundreds of monks arrested in the September 2007 uprising, which started as a protest against high fuel prices but snowballed into the biggest threat to Myanmar's former military rulers for nearly 20 years.

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