Burmese Police Break Up Rare Public Protest

Posted October 27th, 2011 at 6:00 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese police shut down a rare public protest by dozens of farmers angry over the confiscation of their land.

The group staged a sit-in outside a government building in the main city of Rangoon Thursday to protest the seizure of about 4,050 hectares of land by the government. The group's leader, Pho Phyu, says the farmers' had no choice but to take to the streets to air their grievances.

Police confiscated the protesters' banners and ordered them to peacefully disperse. The French Press Agency says about seven protesters were detained by authorities.

Demonstrations are rare in Burma, which was ruled with an iron fist by a military junta for five decades before a newly-elected civilian government took power in recent months. Previous protests in 1988 and 2007 were brutally suppressed by the junta.