Fernandes urges Centre to intervene in Myanmar

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New Delhi, Oct 1: NDA Convenor George Fernandes participated in a rally here today to protest against the violent crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrators in Myanmar and urged New Delhi to intervene.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded that New Delhi should persuade Myanmar to hold discussions with the Buddhist monks staging huge street protests in Myanmar for the last two weeks.

"Today's march has been organised to show the world that we are in favour of democracy. It is a different issue what our relationship with Burma (Myanmar) is. Having a healthy relationship with Burma does not mean we do not stop the bloodshed of innocent people in Burma," said BJP leader VK Malhotra.

Former Prime Minister I K Gujral said it was imperative that India supported Myanmarese.

"We all are questioning the Indian Government. Myanmar is not far away from us. Even before (India"s) independence they (Myanmarese) have been standing with us. Today the whole world is standing with them except us," said Gujral.

Hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks in Myanmar are protesting in the country calling for democracy and an end to the military government.

Nearly two weeks of protests on the streets of Yangon, initially led by saffron- clad monks, have provoked a staunch reaction from the government, with at least nine people reportedly killed in violent clashes.

Buddhist monks have been holding protest demonstrations in India as well against the violent crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrators in Myanmar and expressed solidarity with their counterparts in Myanmar. The protesting monks sought India's intervention to restore democracy in Myanmar.

India shares a 1,645-km long border on its east with Myanmar.

Meanwhile, UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has reached Myanmar hoping to end a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Gambari is expected to meet Myanmar"s military leader General Than Shwe today.

On Saturday, when Gambari travelled to the new capital Naypidaw, he was allowed to meet only more junior members of the government.



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