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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Burmese monks 'to be sent away'
Burmese people eat on the streets of Rangoon
Monks are absent, but people in Rangoon are going about their lives
Thousands of monks detained in Burma's main city of Rangoon will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the BBC.

About 4,000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.

They are being held at a disused race course and a technical college.

Sources from a government-sponsored militia said they would soon be moved away from Rangoon.

The monks have been disrobed and shackled, the sources told BBC radio's Burmese service. There are reports that the monks are refusing to eat.

The country has seen almost two weeks of sustained popular unrest, in the most serious challenge to the military leadership for more than two decades.

Their eyes are on the international community, their only hope is that the world will see their plight and help them
A Buddhist activist

The authorities said 10 people were killed as the protests were dispersed, though diplomats and activists say the number of dead was many times higher.

The banned opposition broadcaster Democratic Voice of Burma has issued a picture which they say shows the body of a monk floating near the mouth of the Rangoon river.

Last week several monasteries were raided, and there were reports of monks being beaten and killed.

With many monks behind bars, the demonstrations have now died down.

On Monday, the centre of Rangoon was almost back to normal, a reporter, who cannot be identified for security reasons, told the BBC.

Most shops and temples have reopened and people appear to be getting on with their lives. But there seemed to be a group of soldiers around every corner, and very few monks about, the reporter said.

This is notable in a city where monks can usually be spotted going in and out of temples, shopping at street stalls and chatting in tea shops.

Picture, taken by the Democratic Voice of Burma, apparently showing the body of a dead Burmese monk
Monks were reportedly killed (Image: Democratic Voice of Burma)

The atmosphere in Rangoon is tense, the reporter said. Local people are well aware that the monks have been locked away and are afraid that they will be next.

The crackdown, in which unarmed protesters were beaten, tear-gassed, and shot at, has attracted condemnation from abroad, and even from Burma's neighbours in the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).

Envoy still waiting

As well as preventing the demonstrations, the military junta has tried to block news of the unrest filtering out. Troops are stopping young men on the streets and in cars, searching for cameras that may be used to smuggle out images.

Most internet links are still down and mobile phone networks disrupted.

A message to viewers of Burmese state TV
Foreign news outlets are scorned by Burmese state TV

Official media has been warning Burmese people against co-operating with or using foreign news outlets.

A TV message on Monday referred to the BBC, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia as "assassins on air".

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari was set to meet Burma's military leader General Than Shwe on Tuesday, officials said.

On Saturday, when Mr Gambari travelled to the new capital Naypidaw, he was allowed to meet only more junior members of the government.

On Sunday, Mr Gambari held talks with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon - the first foreigner to be permitted to do so for 10 months.

One monk who has fled Burma


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