YANGON, Myanmar, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Myanmar's military junta arrested three key pro-democracy activists amid reports the regime is forcing thousands of people to attend pro-government rallies.
Among those arrested was Htay Kywe, who helped organize protests violently quashed by the government last month, He also participated in a 1988 uprising against the junta in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, thousands of people reportedly are being forced or paid to attend pro-government rallies, the latest in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon.
Marchers in Yangon Saturday chanted slogans denouncing Western countries and the foreign media, including the BBC, which Myanmar's military rulers said encouraged the recent protests.
The United Nations Security Council last week condemned suppression of the pro-democracy protests, while the Myanmar junta said it "deeply regretted" the Council's statement.
United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is to return to Myanmar Sunday to continue mediation talks with the country's rulers, the BBC reported.