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Burmese junta shuts schools to stud

Subject: Burmese junta shuts schools to students protests (The Asian Age, 11/12/96.)

Burmese junta shuts schools to crush student protests 
The Asian Age, 11/12/96.
Rangoon, Dec. 10: One day after shutting down universities in 
Rangoon, Burma's military government closed boys and co-ed 
secondary schools in the capital on Tuesday to quash student 
Students and riot police clashed over the weekend and on 
Monday. Army troops were stationed at the Kyimyindine and 
Botataung campuses of Rangoon University on Tuesday, two 
hot spots of student protests since last week. 
Barbed wire barricades blocked streets near the ministry of 
defense and the capital's railway station. More were piled along 
the sides of main roads in case the Army decides to close them. 
The students are demanding an end to police brutality, the right 
to form a students' union and more freedom and human rights. 
Although not politically active for several years following the 
nation-wide Democracy Uprising of 1988, the students were 
aroused by an October incident in which the police allegedly 
beat Rangoon Institute of Technology youths involved in a 
dispute with a restaurant owner. 
The government's failure to address the students' grievances has 
sparked off street demonstrations that have mushroomed into 
the largest show of civil dissent since 1988. 
The 1988 uprising began after the government mishandled a tea 
shop brawl between Rangoon Institute of Technology students 
and the son of a government official. The military crushed the 
largely non-violent uprising, killing more than 3,000 protesters, 
jailing thousands more and shutting down universities for three 
No students took to the streets on Tuesday morning, but a 
statement by Human Rights Watch Asia, an international human 
rights group, said that protests had spread to Mandalay. 
Burma's second largest city. 
Both the Institute of Medicine and the Institute of Technology 
in Mandalay were shut down by the government on Sunday 
following demonstrations there, the group said. The 
government has accused Nobel peace prize winner Aung San 
Sun Kyi, communists and exile students groups of inciting the 
demonstrations. Ms Sun Kyi has been confined to her home 
since Monday. She has denied the accusations, branding them 
"ridiculous." On Tuesday, she was permitted to meet with 
leaders of her political party at her home. Seven members of her 
party were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of taking 
part in the demonstrations, Human Rights Watch Asia said. 
On Monday, riot police chased hundreds of student protesters 
through the streets of Rangoon. Hundreds more from Dagon 
University across the Rangoon river, attempting to reach the 
site of the protests by buses, were turned back by troops. Late 
at night, troops also chased people gathered at a downtown 
Rangoon intersection near the medical school. Students could 
be heard chanting their demands from inside a school 
dormitory. Witnesses saw no arrests, but many said they had 
fled before the troops and so were uncertain if anyone had been 
taken into custody.
Attempts to reach government spokesmen have been 
unsuccessful. Intelligence officers detained an Agence France 
Press reporter who had been following the demonstrations and 
interrogated him for four hours, seizing him film.
At least three free-lance journalists have been deported by the 
authorities as they search for whoever has been filming the 
student demonstrations for Cable News Network. (AFP)