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Groups Continue Support of Burmese Activists

Members of Cambodian rights groups and other activists said they would stay in front of the Burmese Embassy in Phnom Penh for a week to protest the use of violence to suppress demonstrations in Burma, an Asean neighbor.

Organizers said they wanted the campaign to reflect solidarity with the international community against brutal action of the Burmese junta, which quelled pro-democracy demonstrations last week with tear gas and guns, shooting at thousands of demonstrators protesting a gasoline price hike.

"We have a week-long plan to support the Burmese people, their ideals, hearts, spirit, in their plight," Center for Social Development Executive Director Seng Theary said in a speech Monday. "We want to give a message to the Burmese government that… we hate violence and crime, and we think that we will continue to do this until the Burmese government gives freedom to the Burmese people and frees political prisoners."

The military authorities who rule Burma have been holding pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years.

At least 10 Burmese exiles in Cambodia joined Monday's demonstration.

Activist Hla Htay told VOA that the activists wanted to announce to the Burmese military leaders that the world condemned the violence.

"We are now here to tell the Burmese government to stop killing people," he said.

The UN, US, EU and Asean have each condemned the violent crackdown on demonstrations. Only a veto from China stopped UN General Assembly sanctions of the junta.