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Top Burmese general threatens to 'a
Subject: Top Burmese general threatens to 'annihilate' protesters.
Top Burmese general threatens to `annihilate' protesters
December 12, 1996
4.22 pm EST (2122 GMT)
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- In a chilling warning to student
protesters, a top
Burmese general has threatened to "annihilate'' anyone who
military government's work.
The remarks by Gen. Tin Oo were published Thursday in state-run
newspapers following six days of student protests in the
cities of Rangoon and
Thousands of student demonstrators, demanding freedom, human
end to police brutality and the right to form a student
union, have staged the
most serious show of civil dissent since the nationwide
democracy uprising of
1988, also sparked by student protests.
The protests have diminished over the last two days to brief,
demonstrations as authorities have blocked off universities
and other rallying
points such as the 1,000-year-old Sule Pagoda in downtown
Sources close to the students who spoke on condition of
communications between the leaders and the rest of the
protesters had been
cut off almost entirely by the heavy security.
Some students loitered near the Sule Pagoda around noon
seeing soldiers and military vehicles ringing the Buddhist
disappeared into the downtown crowds.
A 4-square-mile area of the capital is surrounded by
checkpoints, and many
people who live inside the area say they haven't gone to work
or shopped in
three days because they are afraid they won't be allowed to
Schools remained closed for the fourth consecutive day, and
Aung San Suu Kyi remained confined to her home by the
Asked about the government's calls for stability, Suu Kyi
said in a telephone
interview: "They should prove stability is returning by
unblocking my road.''
She added that if the blockade of central Rangoon continues,
"it means that
they're not in control of the situation.''
The Nobel laureate said her husband, Oxford professor Michael
Aris, and their
two children, will not visit this Christmas as a protest of
the military junta's
tourism campaign. The government, which renamed the country
has covered the capital with posters advertising Burma as a
State-run media said this week that Burma aims to have
300,000 visitors by
then -- well below targets announced earlier.
Authorities postponed an annual marathon planned for Thursday
Burmese capital. The route would have passed through areas
now closed off to
the general public, and there had been fears that students
would try to disrupt
Tin Oo is one of the four most-powerful generals in the
ruling junta that seized
power by violently crushing the 1988 uprising. More than
3,000 civilians were
gunned down by the military, thousands were jailed and
schools were closed
for three years.
The military government "will never allow the recurrence of
disturbances and would annihilate any internal elements who
are trying to
disrupt the country,'' Tin Oo said.
Tin Oo is a battle-hardened veteran, having fought against
insurgents and ethnic rebels along Burma's untamed frontiers.
He also is viewed as a junta hard-liner, having threatened to
annihilate Suu Kyi
and her allies in the past. In his most recent speech, he
indirectly suggested that
she is behind the student protests, a charge she and the
students have denied.
Burma was a British colony from 1824 until 1947, when Suu
Gen. Aung San, won the country's independence.
Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947, began his career as a
and students have been carrying his portrait in the recent
A Suu Kyi deputy, Kyi Maung, said 28 members of her National
had been detained after a demonstration Friday night. Four
Wednesday morning and the other 24 were still being held, he
One person -- a laundry worker -- was killed in the
demonstration, which was
broken up by a water cannon and baton charge, said Kyi Maung,
chairman of the party.
Col. Hla Min, a military intelligence official, denied
Thursday that anyone had
Maung said he believes international pressure has prevented
from resorting to harsher tactics against the protesters.
[FOX, 12 Dec 1996]