The Myanmar authorities issued on Tuesday night a curfew order, banning the gathering of more than five persons in the country's biggest city of Yangon, according to the Yangon Division Administrative Department.
Monks take part in a march against the government in Yangon September 25, 2007. Myanmar's junta imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the country's two main cities on Wednesday after pouring security forces into Yangon to try to end the biggest protests against military rule in nearly 20 years.
The curfew order, which applies to almost all townships in Yangon, has been effective since Tuesday night from 9 PM to 5 AM for a period of 60 days, said an announcement signed by the head of the department Hla Tun.
The announcement was broadcast by loudspeakers on vehicles patrolling the city before midnight.
Tens of thousands of Buddhist monks and civilians continued to stage demonstrations in Yangon on Tuesday afternoon despite warnings by the government and the State Vulnerable Monks Committee.
As in the last week, the demonstrators marched in procession from the eastern gate of the holy Shwedagon Pagoda to the downtown Sule Pagoda.
Since Tuesday morning, the authorities have been patrolling the city and broadcasting by loudspeakers, warning to disperse unlawful gathering with the use of force.
On Monday evening, the State Vulnerable Monks Committee of Myanmar issued a new directive to all levels of the committee, calling on its members to avoid getting involved in party politics and instigation and to stay away from forming, joining or supporting any illegal monk organizations.
Actions will be taken against the members who commit acts that tarnish the prestige of the Sasana (religion) and those who violate individually or in groups religious rules and laws prescribed by the government, the directive said.
On Monday, Myanmar Minister of Religious Affairs Brigadier-General Thura Myint Maung said in his supplication to the committee that the recent monk demonstrations in the country were incited by external and internal destructive elements and four foreign broadcasting stations.
He noted that the monk demonstrations would not only undermine the stability of the state but also tarnish the image of Myanmar monks.
Myanmar's second largest city of Mandalay was also under curfew.
(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)