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Burmese Monk, Labor Activist Arrested In Burma

Burmese Monk, Labor Activist Arrested as UN Envoy Visits Burma

Word of U Gambira's arrest closely followed news that Burmese authorities had arrested a prominent labor rights activist, Su Su Nway.

The arrests come as a United Nations human rights envoy is in Burma to investigate the September crackdown by the country's military government.

Sources told foreign media that Su Su Nway was arrested while trying to post anti-government leaflets.

The U.N. human rights envoy, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, was to meet with several Burmese cabinet ministers in the remote capital of Naypyidaw. Pinheiro began a five-day visit to Burma on Sunday, his first trip to the country since 2003.

The U.N. special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, is preparing to brief the U.N. Security Council on his recent trip to the country and efforts to act as a mediator between detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and military leaders.

Pinheiro is in Burma investigating just how many people died during the government's bloody crackdown in September. According to Burmese officials, 10 people were killed and nearly three thousand detained, but diplomats and human rights groups argue that the true figures are much higher.

Meanwhile, Burma is pressing ahead with its first auction of gems and jade since its deadly crackdown, despite efforts for an international boycott of the country's jewel trade. The sale of jewels is a key source of revenue for the military government.

Human Rights Watch has called on countries such as China, Thailand and the United States to block the purchase of gems from Burma.


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