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Power cut protests continue

Authorities question demonstrators, reports of police beatings in Pyay

Power cut protests continue
Protesters in Yangon demonstrate against power shortages
John Zaw, Mandalay and Thomas Toe, Yangon

May 25, 2012

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Amid ongoing power cuts across the country, protesters this week continued to demonstrate against the lack of electricity, testing the limits of recent political reforms. Candle-lit vigils were held for a fourth day yesterday as hundreds gathered amid tight security near Yangon’s Sule pagoda. Han Win Aung, a vigil organizer in Yangon, said the protests aimed at expressing discontent over shortages in a peaceful way. “While we are moving towards a democratic country, we want to let the leaders of the country know the real will of the public.” Similar protests in Pyay in Pegu division were reportedly less peaceful. Local police beat several demonstrators and detained six people for questioning yesterday, according to a report by AFP. Khin Than Myint, a member of the National League for Democracy in Mandalay, said he and dozens of other demonstrators were questioned over their participation in vigils. He said it was a good sign that authorities did not treat him and others as prisoners. “The police asked questions about who was behind the protest,” she said. “I told them that the public themselves led it.” About 50 people from Mandalay were questioned on Tuesday, Khin Than Myint said, while three other NLD party members were called in for questioning and released later in the day.
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