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Blogwatch

September 26, 2008
Myanmar releases several prisoners on protest anniversary

Burmese monks protested a year ago.

A year after Myanmar’s military junta brutally cracked down on protesting monks, the government has released several political prisoners, including prominent journalist U Win Tin, who was jailed for almost 20 years. Human Rights Watch claims 2,100 people are still imprisoned and no progress has been made.

The “Irrawaddy” blog assesses the government’s long-term goals, saying that prisoner releases do not change the junta’s image. “Irrawaddy” also interviewed U Win Tin, who called his release “insincere.”

“Fear from Freedom” calls U Win Tin “out of touch” and speculates on the country’s 2010 election.

As people honor the one-year anniversary of the protest, Ashin Mettacara, a Burmese monk, posts about student demonstrations outside the Burmese Embassy in Sri Lanka and remembers his friend who died a year ago.

On Thursday, a bomb exploded in the main city of Rangoon, but heavy security has been imposed to curtail dissidents. U.S. First Lady Laura Bush has also called for Than Shwe to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and pledged to hold the regime responsible.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user racoles under a Creative Commons license.

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