Burma opposition warns of demonstrations against petrol hike

Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) Party on Monday warned that demonstrations were "imminent" unless the military reverses last week's decision to double fuel prices.

Burma opposition warns of demonstrations against petrol hike
Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) Party on Monday warned that demonstrations were "imminent" unless the military reverses last week's decision to double fuel prices.

"Cost of transport all over the nation has increased exorbitantly, causing hardships to members of clergy and laity, students and service personnel," said the NLD in a statement issued by their Yangon headquarters to the government.

The NLD, the party of detained democracy heroine Aung San Suu Kyi, warned that "wide ranging demonstrations were imminent" unless the government reversed the fuel price hikes by Wednesday.

On August 15, prices at state petrol stations for one gallon (4.55 litres) of benzine jumped from 1,500 kyats (1.15 dollars) to 2,500 (1.90 dollars), while the asking price for diesel doubled from 1,500 to 3,000 kyat.

On the same day, the prices for compressed natural gas used by public buses also rose overnight from 500 kyat per 50-litre container to 1,500 kyat per container, or an increase of200 per cent.

Myanmar has been suffering double-digit inflation since last year, prompting rare street demonstrations against the ruling junta in February and April this year. The protesters were detained.

Myanmar has been under the equivalent of martial law since a brutal military crackdown on pro-democray demonstrations in September 1988.

The nationwide anti-military demonstrations of 1988 were sparked by growing discontent with the country's deteriorating economy, combined with mounting frustration with the country's military dictatorship.

In 1987 Myanmar, once Asia's leading rice exporter, was downgraded to a Least Developed Developing Country (LDDC) status at the United Nations as a means of lessening its international debt burden.

The impoverished status led to widespread disillusionment with the so-called "Burmese Way to Socialism" advocated by the military since it seized power with a coup in 1962.


DPA
Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2007, 20:21
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