Burma curfews lifted, but people still fearful

Burma curfews lifted, but people still fearful

Burma curfews lifted, but people still fearful

Updated 19 December 2011, 11:56 AEDT

Burma's military government has lifted dusk-to-dawn curfews in the country's main cities of Rangoon and Mandalay.

The curfews were imposed amid widespread protests by tens of thousands of monks and civilians last month.

The relaxing of the curfew comes as Burmese authorities continue to release prominent activists from detention.

However, the whereabouts and safety of thousands of Buddhist monks who took part in the protests are unknown.

Khin Ohmar is a Burmese pro-democracy activist based in Thailand.

She's in regular touch with pro-democracy supporters in Burma, and told Connect Asia many Burmese are still living in fear.

"I just talked to a few people that I know and what they are saying is the lifting of the curfew doesn't make any difference just now because people are with this whole continuous rage and such for the activity of the people on the ground are still very concerned and the others still very afraid," she said.

She says lifting the curfew is an indication that the military regime has already picked up all those on their list.

"This is clearly a sign of how they have already cracked down on the pro-democracy activists across the country. It also says on the other hand that they actually will like to show to the international community and still trying to deceive, by saying that we've lifted our curfew. So they have this whole propaganda, the plan to deceive the international community.

While thousands still remain locked up it has been reported that a number of prominent detainees have been released.

"This is not a new case for the Burmese regime. This is still the old game they've been playing all over the past 18 years, especially when the pressure comes, particularly from the United Nations and especially now if the United Nations Security Council body.

"So in response to that, pressure from the United Nations Security Council, what they will do is they will continue to buy the time, by releasing one or two prominent activists from time to time, so that this is going to portray like they are doing something good. And that is what they usually do, especially before the General Assembly resolution," she said.

You can hear the full story at the Connect Asia website: http://radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia