Akyab, Arakan State: Buddhist monks and students in Akyab assembled in front of Payagyi monastery and staged a protest march yesterday morning at about 10:00 a.m. against the fuel price hike that has pushed up prices of essential commodities throughout Burma, said a resident from Akyab.

More than 400 people including monks and monastery students, university students who have been living in monastery and public from Akyab Township gathered in front of Payagyi monastery. The protest march was led by monks.

The agitators demanded a roll back in fuel prices so that commodity prices could come down. They also demanded the release of all the arrested student leaders. The marchers chanted slogans.

Troops in combat trucks arrived on the spot after 45 minutes and dispersed the demonstrators. But no one was arrested then. But in the evening, at around 6 p.m., the authorities arrested a monk from Payagyi monastery and two students, sources said.

In Kyaukpru, more than 100 people held up portraits of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing, after gathering at the Kyauktaine field in Kyaukpru to demonstrate against the soaring prices. The protest was led by monks and students at around 3 p.m., said a local in Kyaukpru. There is no information on arrests from this spot.

Another demonstration was led by monks and students in Taungup Township yesterday. No details were available.

According to sources, the arrested monk and two students were released at about 3:30 pm today.