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Burmese general vow to 'annihilate'
Subject: Burmese general vow to 'annihilate' protesters (The Asian Age, 13/12/96.)
Burmese general vows to 'annihilate' protesters
The Asian Age, 13/12/96.
BY PATRICK McDOWELL
Rangoon, Dec. 12: In an ominous warning to student protesters,
one of Burma's top generals vowed in comments published on
Thursday to annihilate anyone disrupting his movement's work.
The remarks by Gen. Tin Oo were published in state-run
newspapers following six days of student protests in the cities of
Rangoon and Mandalay.
Thousands of students demonstrators, demanding freedom,
human rights, an end to police brutality and the right to from a
students union, have staged the most serious show of civil dissent
since the nation-wide democracy uprising of 1988, which also
was sparked by student protests.
The protests have diminished over the last two days to brief, hit-
and-run style demonstrations because authorities have sealed off
universities and other rallying points such as the 1,000-year-old
Sule pagoda in central Rangoon.
A 10-square-km 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 straight day on Thursday,
and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi remained confined to
her home by the military.
And authorities postponed an annual marathon 1 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 it.
Gen. Tin Oo is one of the four most powerful generals in the
ruling junta that seized power by violently crushing the 1988
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," Gen. Tin Oo said.
Gen. Tin Oo is a battle-hardened veteran, having fought against
Communist insurgents and ethnic rebels along Burma's untamed
He also is viewed as a junta hard-liner, having threatened to
annihilate Aung San 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
A deputy of Aung San Suu Kyi, Kyi Maung, said 28 members' of
her National League party had been detained after a
demonstration on Friday night. (AP)