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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Regional media react to Burmese protests
Buddhist monks march in protest in Yangon
Buddhist monks march in protest

The media inside Burma has been relaying official warnings to those taking part in the recent anti-government protests.

Further afield, the official Chinese media have given the story little prominence and restricted themselves to factual reporting, while coverage elsewhere has tended to express sympathy with the demonstrators.

Burmese coverage

The pro-government newspaper New Light of Myanmar(Burma) on 25 September called for the Buddhist clergy "to avoid getting involved in party politics and instigation", and accused foreign media of "telecasting the protests aim to cause unrest in Myanmar".

The previous day, state Radio Myanmar broadcast remarks by Religious Affairs Minister Brig-Gen Thura Myint Maung warning that "action would be taken" if the demonstrations continued, and accusing foreign powers and "destructionists" inside Burma of instigating the protests.

The Irrawaddy, run by Burmese exiles living in Thailand, has been reporting on protests taking place in several cities, including cities located near the Thai-Burma border.

The New Delhi-based Burmese opposition news agency, Mizzima News, has been giving mainly factual accounts of the protests in several cities around the country.

Chinese coverage low-key

In China, where the government is widely viewed as being supportive to Burma's military rulers, the official news agency Xinhua has been reporting on the protests, focusing on statements by Burmese officials and the pro-government monks' committee.

One Xinhua report said the protesters were carrying banners asking for "an improvement to people's livelihoods, the release of prisoners and national reconciliation", but did not mention their demands for democratic reform.

On the websites of both Xinhua and the Chinese newspaper the People's Daily, reports on events in Burma were given little prominence, being buried deep in their international sections. On 25 September, The People's Daily carried no reports at all on Burma.

Almost all newspaper websites in China have carried low profile, factual reports on Burma.

In Hong Kong, on the other hand, the English-language South China Morning Post called for world leaders meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York to "put Myanmar at the centre of the world stage, and help ensure a peaceful and equitable resolution".

Regional reaction

In Thailand, The Nation daily focused on Beijing's reaction to events in Burma, stating that "China continues to defend the regime, at least in public".

The paper added that the Rangoon government had received increased support from Russia, "which is allegedly helping it realise its nuclear ambitions by building facilities in Burma, in addition to training Burmese officials in Moscow".

A report in Malaysia's Sin Chew Daily said the protests - originally targetted against a hike in the prices of consumer goods - had became an "anti-government protest for freedom and human rights", in which "these monks and nuns have braved tear gas and the threat of arrest in a reflection of the social dilemma in Burma".

In Singapore, the Chinese-language paper Lianhe Zaobao said it believed the Burmese leadership was aware that the world community was watching events "closely", adding that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) - of which Burma is a member - wanted to see "the leadership reflecting on its domestic policies and opening up to embrace democracy".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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