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Kallie Szczepanski

Myanmar Marks 5th Anniversary of Monk-led Protests

By September 21, 2012

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Protestor at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, protesting a bloody government crackdown.

In September of 2007, pro-democracy protests broke out in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). On September 22, a group of marchers led by 2,000 Buddhist monks marched through Yangon to the gates of Aung San Suu Kyi's home, where she was under house arrest.

By the 24th, between 30,000 and 100,000 people were on the streets, and Than Shwe's military junta cracked down hard two days later. An unknown number of protestors were killed, perhaps numbering in the thousands, and the government targetted Buddhist monks and nuns across the country in bloody reprisals.

Today, the military junta has given way to an elected government, Aung San Suu Kyi is out of house arrest and in the parliament, and on September 17, 2012, the new government released all remaining political prisoners. It hasn't happened overnight, but democracy does seem to be sprouting in Myanmar at last.

Chumsak Kanoknan / Getty Images.

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