Monday, October 15, 2007

Myanmar restores Internet, but arrests continue

Reuters, October 14, 2007

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's ruling generals have restored public Internet access, more than two weeks after cutting Web connections to stem the flow of images of mass protests and a ruthless crackdown that outraged the world.

The junta also reduced a curfew to just four hours, but arrests of opponents and participants in the protests -- the biggest challenge to 45 years of military rule in the former Burma since 1988 -- continued despite international pressure for talks with the opposition.

"The Internet connection was restored on Saturday afternoon, but we still haven't decided whether or not to reopen our internet cafe yet," a Yangon Internet cafe owner said.

There had been intermittent access to the Internet over the past week, mostly during a curfew first imposed as the junta sent the army in to end protests led by thousands of Buddhist monks.

The government admits 10 people were killed, although Western governments and opposition groups in exile say the real toll was much higher, and thousands of people, including hundreds of monks, were arrested and held in brutal conditions.

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