Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram held a long discussion on the situation in Burma with US Under-secretary of State Nicholas Burns, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly here Tuesday.
Burns asked to see Nitya to explore possibilities on what to do next after UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari returns from Burma to report to the Security Council later this week.
Nitya said Thailand and Asean would discuss Burma before the regional grouping's summit in Singapore next month as the situation was evolving. The US diplomat said regional superpowers China and Russia had not done enough to put pressure on the Burmese junta. But India had "done its job", Burns said.
Meanwhile, in Rangoon, Burmese soldiers announced they were hunting pro-democracy protesters in the former capital yesterday. The top US diplomat in the country said military police were pulling people out of their homes in the night.
Military vehicles patrolled the streets before dawn with loudspeakers blaring: "We have photographs. We are going to make arrests!"
Shari Villarosa, the acting US ambassador in Burma, said in a phone interview with Associated Press in Bangkok that people in Rangoon were terrified. "From what we understand, military police ... are travelling around the city in the middle of the night, going into homes and picking up people," she said.
Residents living near the Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma's most revered shrine and a flashpoint of unrest, said police had swept through several dozen homes in the middle of the night, dragging away several men for questioning.
The homes were located above shops at a market place that caters to the nearby pagoda, selling monks robes and begging bowls.
The security forces were looking for people who had participated in demonstrations since mid-August, which troops brutally crushed on September 26 and 27 with live gunfire, tear gas and baton charges.
The government says 10 people were killed but dissident groups put the toll at about 200. In addition, they say, some 6,000 people have already been arrested, including thousands of Buddhist monks who led the demonstrations, which initially started to protest a massive hike in fuel prices.
Meanwhile, the junta pursued other means of intimidation. An employee from the Transport Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was told to sign a statement saying he and his family would not take part in any political activity and would not listen to foreign radio reports.
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