Myanmar’s ruling junta restored Internet access but kept foreign news sites blocked, partially easing its crackdown as a U.N. envoy arrived in Thailand on Sunday to rally neighboring governments around demands for democratic reforms in the country.
The junta cut Internet access Sept. 28, two days after troops opened fire on peaceful protesters and images of the crackdown were plastered on Web sites. Internet service was intermittently restored earlier this month.
Foreign news Web sites, including the BBC and CNN, however, remained inaccessible, along with blogs and overseas-hosted dissident sites.
U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Asia on a trip to coordinate the region’s efforts to negotiate a solution in Myanmar but declined to comment on his mission to reporters at Bangkok’s airport late Sunday.
Flooding kills tourists, guides
Six Western tourists and two Thai guides died after flash floods swept them away while they were exploring a cave at a southern Thai national park, police said Sunday. At least one tourist survived.
The group was trekking through the Khao Sok national park in Surathani province late Saturday afternoon when a heavy rainfall caused flash floods that sent water surging through the cave, which was near a waterfall, police Lt. Col. Pichan Kanayasiri said.
The tourists who died were three Swiss women, one Swiss man, a British man and a 10-year-old German boy, police Lt. Col. Pichan Kanayasiri said.
A British woman, who managed to cling to a part of the cave, was found alive after a long search, Pichan said.
Human rights activist arrested
The head of an Iranian human rights group was arrested on charges of violating national security, official media reported on Sunday.
The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said members of Emadeddin Baghi’s family had taken part in meetings that were arranged by the opposition to topple Iran’s Islamic regime.
Baghi is the head of a prisoners’ rights group and has accused authorities of mistreating inmates.
In 2003, he was sentenced to three years in prison on similar charges of violating national security.
He served two years and one year was suspended.