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Intelligence services tell Burmese media outlet to close temporarily as authorities allegedly plan crackdown on exile organisations

(Mizzima/IFEX) - Thai intelligence services told at least one Burmese media outlet based in Thailand to temporarily close its offices, allegedly because the Thai government is planning to launch a nation-wide crackdown on "illegal" Burmese groups based in Thailand.

Informed sources told Mizzima that the offices of pro-democracy Burmese opposition groups in Thailand will be searched by security personnel as part of a nation-wide "operation" to be launched in early November 2007. The sources say that the measure follows the Burma military junta's claims that Thai-based organizations instigated or were helping recent anti-regime protesters in the neighbouring country.

The Burmese regime has linked the monks leading the demonstrations in August and September with organisations based in the Thai border town of Mae Sot. Burmese Religion Minister Brig Gen Thura Myint Maung was quoted in the 25 October edition of the state-run newspaper as saying that "bogus monks" who are in contact with opposition groups based in Thailand had instigated the recent protests in Burma.

Myint Maung, citing the names of monks who organized the protests, said, "All 15 monks have visited Mae Sot in Thailand and some of them have attended training courses in explosives and community organizing there."

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