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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 
	    disrupts the
            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 
	    rights, an
            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, 
	    hit-and-run style
            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 
	    anonymity said
            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 
	    Thursday, but
            seeing soldiers and military vehicles ringing the Buddhist 
	    shrine, they
            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 
	    return home. 

            Schools remained closed for the fourth consecutive day, and 
	    democracy leader
            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 
	    travel destination. 

            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 
	    in the
            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 
	    the 1988
            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 
	    Kyi's father,
            Gen. Aung San, won the country's independence. 

            Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947, began his career as a 
	    student leader,
            and students have been carrying his portrait in the recent 

            A Suu Kyi deputy, Kyi Maung, said 28 members of her National 
	    League party
            had been detained after a demonstration Friday night. Four 
	    were released
            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 
	    the government
            from resorting to harsher tactics against the protesters. 

	    [FOX, 12 Dec 1996]