Myanmar junta warns against more protests

YANGON, Sept 25, 2007 (AFP) – Myanmar’s military regime warned its people Tuesday not to join a swelling nationwide protest movement that has escalated into the most potent threat to their hardline rule in nearly 20 years. Local government officials using loudspeakers rode trucks through central Yangon warning against new anti-junta protests, a day after Buddhist monks led 100,000 people onto the streets of the country’s biggest city.

State media bluntly ordered the monks to stay clear of politics, mirroring government threats of a crackdown carried on state television late Monday.

But more protests were still expected Tuesday, again led by the clergy whose revered status has made them rallying figures for public anger that erupted more than one month ago after a crippling hike in fuel prices.

“We warn the monks and the people not to participate in protest marches,” local government officials shouted as they circled around the nation’s commercial hub.

“We will take action under the existing law,” they said.

The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said that all clergy “are directed to avoid getting involved in party politics and instigation.”

State media said prot