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Burma arrests 20 students after pro
- Subject: Burma arrests 20 students after pro
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 04:17:00
Subject: Burma arrests 20 students after protests-witnesses
Burma arrests 20 students after protests-witnesses
By Vithoon Amorn
RANGOON, Dec 11 (Reuter) - Burmese security forces arrested
about 20 students amid scattered protests in the capital
Rangoon, witnesses and diplomats said on Wednesday.
Some 50 Yangon University students staged a brief
anti-government protest in front of the U.S. embassy in the
centre of the city late on Tuesday, they told Reuters.
"They gathered near the embassy after either walking or
taking buses to the embassy. About 20 students were arrested," a
student source said.
Government confirmation was not immediately available.
More than 100 students at a medical school in central
Rangoon shouted anti-government slogans at the gate of their
campus on Tuesday and later dispersed, witnesses said.
Police and military personnel manned checkpoints in the
vicinity of the university and the Yangon Institute of
Technology for the sixth day.
All university campuses have been closed since Monday and
student sources said on Wednesday that parents were told by
campus authorities to take home boarding students for two weeks.
Anti-government street protests staged by students last week
were the biggest seen in Rangoon since the pro-democracy
uprisings of 1988, which the military crushed leaving thousands
dead or in jail.
At the peak of the demonstrations, thousands of protesters
took to the streets from the two colleges. The authorities broke
up the protests, held over 860 students and later freed them.
Diplomats said the protests had also spread briefly over the
weekend to two universities in the northern city of Mandalay.
The students were protesting against alleged police
brutality during a brawl in October between some institute
students and restaurant owners.
They also want to be allowed to set up student unions on
Official Burmese media on Wednesday quoted top officials of
the ruling military-led State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) as warning against further disturbances by unnamed
politicians and students.
"If peace and tranquility are marred due to lack of
restraint and thoughtlessness of some politicians, arrangements
for the building of a modern nation will meet with delay,
hindrance or disruption," SLORC chairman Senior General Than
Shwe said in speech to the government-run Union Solidarity and
"All must keep vigil and prevent negatively oriented
destructive and subservient traitors from intruding into
educational realm and using students in bids to gain political
power," he said.
Powerful military intelligence chief Lieutenant General Khin
Nyunt told Burmese writers at a ceremony on Wednesday to beware
the threat to Burma posed by internal and external destructive
elements. He did not identify the elements.
Diplomats said the SLORC had issued circulars to all
embassies in Rangoon, informing them the SLORC had exercised
maximum restraint despite sustained student protests.
The circular said the SLORC request for opposition leader
Aung San Suu Kyi to temporarily confine herself to her lakeside
residence was for the Nobel laureate's own safety.
The circular repeated SLORC accusations that some members of
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, exiled
Burmese students and the outlawed Communist Party of Burma were
behind the protests.
Suu Kyi has denied NLD members were involved in the unrest
and protested restrictions on her movements.
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