In response to the increase in fuel prices, citizens protested in demonstrations beginning on August 15. In response to the protests, the government began arresting and beating demonstrators. The government arrested 13 prominent Burmese dissidents including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Min Zeya, Ko Jimmy, Ko Pyone Cho, Arnt Bwe Kyaw and Ko Mya Aye. The government newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported that these individuals' actions caused civil unrest that "was aimed at undermining peace and security of the State and disrupting the ongoing National Convention. The United States condemned the arrest of these dissidents on August 22 with the State Department's acting spokesman stating "The United States calls for the immediate release of these activists and for an end of the regime's blatant attempt to intimidate and silence those who are engaged in peaceful promotion of democracy and human rights in Burma...We call on the regime to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the leaders of Burma's democracy movement and ethnic minority groups and to make tangible steps toward a transition to civilian democratic rule."
On September 5, 2007, Burmese troops forcibly broke up a peaceful demonstration in Pakokku and injured three monks. The next day, other monks later took government officials as hostages in retaliation. They demanded an apology by the deadline of September 17, but the military refused to apologize. This sparked protests involving increasing numbers of monks in conjunction with the withdrawal of religious services for the military. Their role in the protests has been significant due to the reverence paid to them by the civilian population and the military. After these events, protests began spreading across Myanmar, including Yangon (also known as Rangoon), Sittwe, Pakokku and Mandalay.
Read more about this topic: Timeline Of The 2007 Burmese Anti-government Protests, Timeline
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