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Burma troops lift barricades.

	Burma Troops Lift Barricades 

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Heavy security around a 
downtown Rangoon medical school
was lifted Sunday after the government sent 
nearly all the students back to their homes in the
countryside to quell the largest street 
demonstrations since a 1988 nationwide democracy

Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi remained 
confined to her home, however,
disappointing about 200 followers who hoped she 
would appear on the streets and speak to

The government has accused Suu Kyi of fomenting 
the recent unrest, but students who
staged demonstrations in Rangoon and Mandalay 
last week have denied any link to her or
her political party. They are calling for an 
end to police brutality, the right to form a students
union and more civil liberties. 

Medical University No. 1, where security was 
lifted Sunday, was the site of several sit-ins
last week. Students said three people were 
arrested. The school's dormitory appeared to be
empty Sunday. 

Burma's military government responded to the 
weeklong demonstrations by closing most
schools, arresting some students and members of 
Suu Kyi's party, sending students home,
blocking off roads with troops and riot police 
and stationing tanks in downtown Rangoon. 

Despite skirmishes in Rangoon last week in 
which rocks were thrown and some young
people were beaten, the military's response was 
mild compared with the brutality it
unleashed in 1988, gunning down more than 3,000 
protesters, jailing thousands and closing
schools for three years. 

The 1988 protests built up over several months, 
however, and there were periods then
when the military seemed to be taking a softer 
line, only to lash out violently later on. 

But with schools closed, students on their way 
home and protest leaders hiding, under
surveillance or in jail, the military seems to 
have succeeded in stopping the civil disobedience
for the time being. 

The challenge for the military now is to open 
schools as soon as possible without facing a
recurrence of the demonstrations. 

The regime's insistence on blaming Suu Kyi for 
the protests, and confining her as punishment, 
is pushing some Western 
governments to consider punitive action against
Burma, also known as Myanmar. 

The European Union has condemned the 
restrictions on Suu Kyi and members of President
Clinton's administration have been meeting 
during the past few days to discuss possible
actions against Burma's military rulers. 

[ By PATRICK McDOWELL, Associated Press Writer
  Sunday, December 15, 1996].