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Rare Protest in Burma Targets Quality of Life Issues


A small group of Burmese held a protest Thursday in the capital of Rangoon, a rare show of defiance to the country's military-ruled leaders.

Eyewitnesses said the protesters carried placards and shouted slogans, calling for lower consumer prices, 24-hour electricity and better living conditions.

The protesters marched up and down the street for about 30 minutes and stressed that they were "peacefully" making their demands. At least one protester was taken away by police along with two local journalists who work for foreign media.

Protests in Burma are rare as authorities quickly crack down on any dissent.

Burma's military leadership crushed a pro-democracy movement in 1988 and refuses to recognize a 1990 election victory by the opposition National League for Democracy.

It is estimated that Burma's military regime is holding at least 1,100 political prisoners.

The head of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent most of the past 17 years under house arrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.