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Myanmar lifts curfew, ends ban on assembly

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Saturday lifted a curfew in the capital Yangon and ended a ban on assembly imposed during the junta's deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The decision is the latest sign that Myanmar military leaders are confident they have quashed the largest pro-democracy uprising in two decades. In Washington, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino dismissed the actions of the regime as 'cosmetic' and stressed the need for "serious intent to move toward democratic transition." Perino's comments follow new sanctions [press release] against members of the regime announced by President Bush on Friday.

In August, the Myanmar government began a crackdown against protesters, arresting hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against human rights abuses by the military government. At least 10 people were killed by government soldiers shooting into crowds [JURIST report]; protests only subsided when junta troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. Though the junta reports only 10 deaths, dissident groups claim that 200 people have been executed and 6,000 detained. AP has more.

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