Myanmar calls for 'duty' to democracy after jailing 150 protestersThe head of Myanmar's military junta Noun 1. military junta - a group of military officers who rule a country after seizing power
clique, coterie, ingroup, inner circle, camp, pack - an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose called Saturday for all citizens to back a controversial "road map" to democracy, a day after the regime sentenced the country's top comedian to 45 years in jail.
Writing in an article on the front page of the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Senior General Than Shwe This article is related to a .
For the main article on the event, see 2007 Burmese anti-government protests.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.
Senior General Than Shwe said it was every citizen's national duty to support the political process.
"The state's seven-step road map is being implemented to build a peaceful, modern and developed new democratic nation with flourishing discipline," Than Shwe wrote on the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of the country's national day.
"The entire population are duty-bound to actively participate with united spirit and national fervour in the drive to see the seven-step road map," the paper quoted him as saying.
The announcement came in a month when more than 150 activists have been given long jail terms by the military regime, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. opposition sources, in the wake of protests led by the nation's revered Buddhist monks last year.
At least 31 people were killed and 74 went missing in the brutal crackdown that followed the demonstrations, according to the United Nations.
On Friday, Myanmar's most famous comedian Zarganar was sentenced to 45 years for contravening the country's Electronic Act, which regulates electronic communications. The charges, however, were not tied to last year's protests.
A sports writer Noun 1. sports writer - a journalist who writes about sports
journalist - a writer for newspapers and magazines named Zaw Thet Htwe, was on the same day handed a 15-year jail term while Gambira, a Buddhist monk who led the protests against the regime in 2007, was given 68 years -- the longest sentence handed down so far.
They join 23 student activists, including Min Ko Naing Min Ko Naing (born 18 October 1962), whose name literally means "conqueror of kings" was born Paw Oo Tun in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma. He is the President of Universities Student Union, Burma, however never approved official. , Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe, handed terms of 65 years for their part in last year's protests which began sporadically against fuel-price hikes in August last year, but subsequently involved tens of thousands of people led by the monks.
Under the government's "road map" to democracy, Myanmar has adopted a new constitution after a widely criticised referendum held days after a cyclone ravaged rav·age
v. rav·aged, rav·ag·ing, rav·ages
1. To bring heavy destruction on; devastate: A tornado ravaged the town.
2. large swathes of the country in early May, leaving 138,000 people dead or missing.
Authorities said the referendum, carried out without independent monitoring, had received support from 92.48 percent of voters.
The road map paves the way for elections in 2010 in a country that has been ruled by the military since 1962.
But the US, the EU and the United Nations have dismissed the lengthy proceedings as a sham due to the absence of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD NLD
nonverbal learning disorder ) party.
The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 elections but the junta did not allow them to take office.
The NLD said Friday the recent jailings decimated a new generation of political leaders.
About 150 NLD party members held a ceremony Saturday to mark the country's national day at its headquarters in Yangon amid tight security.
Plain clothes policemen and local militia surrounded the building, while the road to Aung San Suu Kyi's house had been closed with barbed wire barbed wire, wire composed of two zinc-coated steel strands twisted together and having barbs spaced regularly along them. The need for barbed wire arose in the 19th cent. since the morning, with increased numbers of police around her house, witnesses said.
Rights groups have accused the junta of trying to curb dissent ahead of the 2010 elections.
New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW HRW Human Rights Watch
HRW Heathrow (London Airport)
HRW Heated Rear Window ) Saturday joined UN experts and the United States in condemning the sentences.
Brad Adams, the group's Asia director, using the former name of the country, said the jailing of the comedian Zarganar was "a cruel joke on the Burmese people".
"But it's a bigger joke on those abroad who still think ignoring repression in Burma will bring positive change," he said.