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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Monks lead London's Burma protest
Monks in London
The protesters tied red headbands outside No 10
Buddhist monks have led a march through central London in protest at the military repression in Burma.

They were joined by several thousand supporters, sporting red headbands in solidarity, chanting "Burma, free".

The demonstrators headed to Trafalgar Square after tying the headbands to the gates of Downing Street.

"The events in London are designed to show the people of Burma that we stand with them," said Myo Thein, of event organisers, the Burma Campaign UK.

"We also hope the protests will force the UK Government to do more to demand an end to the military crackdown and get the UN Security Council to act."

'We are watching'

A delegation of Burmese monks joined campaigners after meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown earlier at Downing Street.

The march set off from the Tate Britain gallery. As it reached Westminster Bridge, some monks threw flower petals into the Thames.

A Burmese delegation met Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown spoke of his strong commitment to Burma

It then continued on its way towards Trafalgar Square, with protesters shouting "Burma, Burma, free, free".

Organisers said 10,000 people were in attendance but the Metropolitan Police put the figure at approximately 3,000.

The Trafalgar Square rally began shortly after 1230 BST with chanting by the Burmese monks.

The chants were a message of love and kindness to everyone and also called for an end to the violence in Burma.

Euro MP Lady Kinnock, who met Mr Brown this morning with the delegation of monks, addressed the crowds from a stage.

It is a human rights emergency that the world has chosen to forget for the last 20 years
Irene Khan
Amnesty International

She said: "We say to that junta in Burma we are still watching you, do not think our eyes will leave you for one second. We are watching you.

"We are telling the people of Burma that we will not ever waver from that solidarity with you that we are showing here today."

Next up on the stage was Myo Thein, a former Burmese political prisoner, who held up his shackles.

He said Burma had been ignored by the international community for years."

Irene Khan, of Amnesty International, said: "Burma is not a human rights emergency of today, last week or last month.

"It is a human rights emergency that the world has chosen to forget for the last 20 years."

The rally finished with chanting from a group of Burmese monks.

Living in fear in Burma
05 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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