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Police out on Burma streets (The As
Subject: Police out on Burma streets (The Asian Age, 7/12/96.)
Police out on Burma streets
The Asian Age, 7/12/96.
Rangoon, Dec. 6: Burma's military authorities deployed armed
riot police again on the streets of Rangoon on Friday as
university students prepared to hold a new wave of protests.
Armed riot police holding tin shields blocked a main road on the
edge of town as about 100 university students prepared to make
their way to a meeting point about two km away where they
were to hold a protest. Some 40 red-helmeted riot police
blocked the road, while another 100 sat in the back of three
nearby trucks with batons ready for trouble.
Students told AFP they were planning to take part in a
demonstration to demand the right to form a union and the
release of student prisoners.
They added that a meeting had taken place at the Rangoon
Institute of Technology on Thursday in which students had
discussed the formation of union. Student unions have been
banned by the authorities.
It was not immediately clear if students from other faculties
were going to take part in the protest, planned at the site where
one of the most daring student protests since 1988 had taken
place on Monday.
More than 600 students were picked up following the sit-down
protests but were later released. The authorities at the same
time also blocked access to the home of opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi for two days.
Students said on Friday that they also wanted to extract an
official explanation from the military authorities on the fate of
policemen accused of involvement in the beating up of students
in October. The beatings, for which the authorities said the
officers involved had been adequately punished, sparked street
protests which took many analysts by surprise, given the brutal
crackdown against student protesters in 1988. Faced with a wall
of riot police Friday, most of the students dispersed, apparently
looking for new means to access the protest site, but several
managed to sneak through the road block aboard a public bus.
21 Karen rebels surrender
Bangkok: The state-run Burmese radio on Thursday said 21
ethnic Karen rebels had surrendered to the ruling military
They were former members of the Karen National Union, the
strongest anti-government ethnic minority group in Burma,
Radio Rangoon said in a dispatch monitored here.
It said the guerrillas gave themselves up along with their
weapons on Monday at a Burmese army outpost in the A
country's southeast. (AFP)