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Burma's Suu Kyi Protests "Illegal"
Subject: Burma's Suu Kyi Protests "Illegal" Confinement.
Burma's Suu Kyi Protests 'Illegal' Confinement
(December 4 1996, 5:07 PM EST)
RANGOON, Burma (Reuter) - Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on
Wednesday protested her confinement at home by the military government,
labelling the move illegal.
The Nobel laureate was restricted to her home indefinitely Tuesday by
the State Law and OrderRestoration Council (SLORC) following demonstrations by
students of the Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT) in Rangoon.
``We will make it known to the authorities that we protest this illegal
confinement. Every time there is a demonstration some people always take it as
their job to put up roadblocks,'' Suu Kyi told Reuters.
She said she believed the confinement was imposed because the student
protests Monday and early Tuesday made SLORC feel the situation was
``But the volatile situation has nothing to do with me or the National
League for Democracy (NLD),'' she said, referring to her pro-democracy
party which won elections in 1990 by a landslide but has never been
allowed to rule.
Suu Kyi denied any link between the student protests and the NLD, but
noted that there was a moral tie between the students' cause and that of
her organization as both sought justice and human rights.
Aides to Suu Kyi denounced her confinement at her lakeside home as
``virtual house arrest.''
The SLORC kept Suu Kyi at home as students attempted to stage another
rally at the troubled YIT Wednesday.
Suu Kyi and the SLORC have been engaged in a standoff over her demand
for greater democracy in the former British colony since her release from
six years of house arrest in July 1995.
Diplomats said Suu Kyi's confinement could be temporary and was aimed
at keeping her from being drawn into any unrest.
SLORC spokesmen were unavailable for comment.
The restriction on Suu Kyi followed protests that began at the YIT late
Monday and culminated in central Rangoon before sunrise Tuesday. Police
detained about 300 of 400 student demonstrators near the Shwe Dagon
pagoda after they refused to disperse.
The demonstration, which drew nearly 2,000 students at its peak Monday,
was the biggest street protest in Rangoon since the September 1988
pro-democracy uprisings in which thousands were killed or jailed by the
YIT campus sources said about 50 Burmese students released by police
after being held for demonstrating in the capital planned to rally at the
institute later Wednesday.
But the students were persuaded by YIT lecturers to return to their
classes and it was unknown if the rally would be staged as planned, the
They said the group was among the 300 students detained by police
Tuesday. They were protesting against police handling of a brawl between
some of their colleagues and restaurant owners in October.
A SLORC spokesman said Tuesday that most of the detained students had
been released after their papers were checked to determine if they were
``real students or infiltrators.'' He gave no numbers.
The YIT campus was calm, with regular traffic movement, but security
personnel were checking identities of visitors.
Official media advised the students to focus on their studies and not
be swayed by politicians.
[GNN, 4 December 1996].