Burmese protest electricity shortages

May 22, 2012
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RANGOON, Burma – Protests against chronic power shortages spread to Rangoon late Tuesday (May 22nd), following rallies in Burma's second city of Mandalay which saw several opposition party members briefly held by police, AFP reported.

Two short but noisy demonstrations involving a total of 150 people took place in front of Sule Pagoda in the heart of Rangoon, the focus of uprisings in 1988 and 2007, which were brutally crushed by the military.

Around 1,500 people on Monday attended the second day of a rally in the central city of Mandalay against power cuts, with news of the gathering spreading on Facebook.

Ten members of Aung San Suu Kyi's party were detained for questioning for joining the Mandalay protest, a lawmaker said.

"The authorities treated them well and released them afterwards," Ohn Kyaing, a National League for Democracy Member of Parliament from Mandalay, told AFP.

People in Burma are testing the boundaries of their freedom under the quasi-civilian government, which took power last year after the end of decades of military rule.

Under a new law, authorised protests have been permitted, but the demonstrators in Mandalay reportedly did not have approval when they began their rally over the weekend.

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