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Junta's jail threat

BANGKOK - Burma's military junta would punish anyone throwing ice or water

balloons during April's traditional water-throwing festival with between one and

five years in jail, a Burmese official said.-Reuters

Many people have

been injured in water-throwing festivals in the past when revelers threw

balloons or hard blocks of ice at each other rather than sprinkling the

traditional drops of water, an official at state-run Myanmar News Agency

said.

This year anyone caught with ice blocks or water balloons will be

sentenced to one year in jail while those found throwing or selling ice for the

festival will get from three to five years, the official quoted the new order as

saying.

The festival is held in mid-April in many southeast Asian

countries, including Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, to celebrate the

beginning of their new year.

Traditionally celebrants sprinkle water on

each other but nowadays the overzealous throw buckets of water or even use hoses

to spray unsuspecting passers-by

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