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U.N. talks with Myanmar's junta leader delayed

  • Story Highlights
  • Talks between U.N. envoy and Myanmar's junta leader are delayed
  • Envoy Ibrahim Gambari sees opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, U.N. says
  • Security forces using increasing force to crack down on pro-democracy groups
  • Japan, Myanmar's top aid donor, reportedly considering sanctions in protest
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(CNN) -- Talks between U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari and Myanmar's secretive military leader were stalled for another day on Monday.

The Associated Press, citing diplomats, said Gambari was taken on a government-sponsored trip to attend a seminar in the far northern Shan state on EU relations with Southeast Asia, instead of meeting with junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Gambari had planned to tell him, "about the international outrage over what has happened and will urge him to talk with various people and try to resolve the problems peacefully," Shari Villarosa, chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, told CNN on Sunday.

Earlier, the United Nations said it was uncertain as to when any meeting with Shwe might take place.

Troops removed roadblocks on Monday and moved into less conspicuous posts, according to The Associated Press.

"It's outwardly quite normal at the moment. The traffic seems to be flowing; there's a lot of military tucked away in less visible locations," British Ambassador Mark Canning told the AP. "They've obviously for the moment squeezed things off the streets."

Myanmar's ruling military junta imposed heavy security restrictions in the former capital last week as pro-democracy demonstrations began to attract tens of thousands of protesters. Video Watch protesters clash with authorities »

Acting to crush the demonstrations, security guards have used increasing force in recent days, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people, according to media and opposition reports, which CNN cannot independently confirm.

On Monday, a man, who identified himself as Nick, said he saw about 15 bodies floating in a river in Yangon. He described them as both men and women, monks and civilians.

In other developments, Myanmar soldiers have surrounded the campus of a technology school in Yangon, detaining about 2,000 people, who were staging a hunger strike to protest the crackdown on demonstrators, a well-known source with the pro-democracy movement told CNN. Those involved in the strike, which started Friday, include students, nuns and monks, the source said.

Buddhist monks initiated the demonstrations that began in August to protest a rise in gasoline prices. Photo See I-Report photos of the unrest »

Security forces have restricted the movement of the monks and locked most of the monasteries, effectively barring the Buddhist clergy from marching, said the opposition Web site Mizzima News. CNN cannot independently confirm that report.

Gambari met with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday in an effort to quell tensions between the military leaders and protesters, the United Nations said.

The meeting took place in Yangon for about an hour. No other details were released.

It was a rare visit as Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, has been barred from meeting with foreigners in the past. She has been detained for various periods since 1989 after her National League for Democracy won the country's first free multiparty elections in 30 years but the military junta refused to hand over power.

She won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in restoring democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. See a timeline of events in Myanmar »

Gambari arrived Saturday in Myanmar following a week of protests by citizens and Buddhist monks that were met with increasing force at the hands of government security guards.

Once in Myanmar, Gambari was taken to the isolated bunkerlike capital, Naypyidaw, for talks with senior government officials in hopes of finding a peaceful resolution to the ongoing clashes. See more about the nation of Myanmar »

Japan, Myanmar's largest aid donor, is considering sanctions or other actions to protest the crackdown, chief Cabinet spokesman Nobutaka Machimura said Monday, according to the AP. A Japanese journalist died in the violence.


Pope Benedict XVI offered support to the citizens of Myanmar, the AP reported. About 1 percent of the population are Catholics, according to the AP.

"I want to express my spiritual closeness to the dear population in this moment of the very painful trial it is going through," the pontiff said, according to the AP. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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