[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
Wired News on November 10, 1996
- Subject: Wired News on November 10, 1996
- From: FreeBurma@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 10:12:00
Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: Wired News on November 10, 1996
11/10: Mobs Roam Burma Streets
.c The Associated Press
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Mobs acting with apparent government approval roamed
parts of the capital Sunday, a day after one group attacked Aung San Suu Kyi
and other leaders of the pro-democratic opposition.
Fewer were on the streets, however, and no violence was reported Sunday.
On Saturday, some 200 of what Suu Kyi called ``hooligans'' set upon cars
carrying her and two top lieutenants, using fists and sticks to bash in
windows and dent the vehicles. One of her party's leaders, Tin Oo, suffered a
small scratch on his cheek from flying glass.
Suu Kyi and witnesses said government security forces stood by and did
nothing during the attack. Police and military officials also failed to
intervene in a separate, less severe assault the same day, said the Nobel
Peace Prize winner, who heads the National League for Democracy.
Residents in areas where the mobs were active -- around University Avenue in
Bahan Township and Yankin Township -- said Sunday they had observed hundreds
of suspicious-looking people brought in by trucks and given instructions by
some police officers.
Suu Kyi said the mob actions were orchestrated by Burma's military regime,
which otherwise strictly enforces a ban on public gatherings and tolerates no
The mobs were evidently deployed to harass Suu Kyi and to scare her
supporters from gathering near her home to meet with her.
A small crowd of supporters that gathered at one junction near her house
Sunday afternoon dispersed without incident as evening fell. Many people had
gathered there in hopes of seeing Suu Kyi.
Asked why he was leaving, one of her supporters explained that ``darkness is
a good cover for thugs.''
At a Saturday evening news conference, Suu Kyi charged that the crowd
comprised members of the United Solidarity and Development Association, a
government-supported mass organization.
``They are being used the way Hitler used his organization to harass people
in the most dangerous fashion,'' she said.
The government had no immediate comment. Official comment on events -- if any
-- is usually made in the state-controlled media.
Burma's state press on Sunday made no mention of Saturday's incidents. People
who knew of the incident had heard about it on the BBC's Burmese-language
shortwave radio service, probably the most popular source of uncensored news.
Many Rangoon residents apparently were unaware of Saturday's incidents,
although the roving mobs have drawn attention since they comprise
rough-looking young men under the discipline of well-dressed men with
Only security personnel are allowed to carry such radios in Burma, where
unregistered possession of even a fax machine or modem is punishable by
several years' imprisonment.
A Western diplomat, speaking Saturday on condition of anonymity, said he
talked to some mob members, who told him they were paid 500 kyats (dlrs 4.15)
each to stage their activities.
Suu Kyi and leaders of other political parties met Sunday with U.S. Sen. John
McCain, a Republican from Arizona. McCain met earlier in the day with Lt.
Gen. Khin Nyunt, a leading member of the country's ruling junta.
Details of the talks were not available.
But in Washington Saturday, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns urged
Burma to punish those responsible for the mob attack and ``take every
possible means to assure the safety of Aung San Suu Kyi.''
``The United States is outraged by this attack, which took place under
circumstances which are, to say the least, extremely disturbing,'' Burns
For the seventh straight weekend, officials have blockaded the road to Suu
Kyi's house to keep people from gathering outside her home, where she had
customarily given weekend speeches to crowds of supporters.
Suu Kyi began the street-side meetings in July last year, after she was
released from six years of house arrest.
Last weekend, Suu Kyi began to go to the blocked intersections to hold
hurried meetings with small groups of followers.
Suu Kyi and her associates said they were not frightened by the attacks, and
she vowed to carry on with her efforts to speak to her supporters.
``We cannot give up our rally because this is the only way to communicate
with our people,'' she said. ``The authorities have been trying to isolate us
from the general public and make it impossible for us to function as a
Copyright 1996 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
11/10: U.S. outraged by attack on Burma's Suu Kyi motorcade
By Rajan Moses
RANGOON, Nov 10 (Reuter) - The United States expressed outrage on Sunday
over an attack on Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's motorcade,
demanding government action to punish the culprits and ensure her safety.
The Nobel Peace laureate, unhurt by stones thrown at her motorcade,
denounced the attack as government orchestrated.
Her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party said on Sunday
it would not be provoked by Saturday's attack, the first of its kind against
NLD vice-chairman U Tin Oo said it was a new government tactic designed
to intimidate her.
A U.S. embassy statement strongly condemned the incident and called on
the military government to ensure no repetition.
It was the latest blast at Burma's military rulers who have come under
regular international criticism on human rights and suppression of democracy.
Leading Asian democrats gathered in Manila last week called for an arms
and economic embargo against Burma and urged the international business
community to freeze investments until a new government is in place in
Suu Kyi and the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
have been engaged in a standoff over her demand for greater democracy in
Burma since her release in July, 1995, from six years of house arrest.
The SLORC has detained and then released hundreds of her NLD party
supporters and members at various times to pressure her.
``The United States is outraged by this attack which took place under
circumstances which are, to say the least, extremely disturbing,'' U.S.
Charge d'Affairs Kent Wiedemann said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
``We call on the SLORC, which rules Burma, to punish those responsible
for the attack, take every possible means to assure the safety of Aung San
Suu Kyi and to prevent any such attacks in the future,'' he said.
Wiedemann and John McCain, a visiting Republican senator from Arizona,
met senior SLORC officials and Suu Kyi on Sunday before issuing the
``...we will not stir up any counter reaction by the people because what
has happened is politically favourable to us,'' U Tin Oo told Reuters before
leaving for a meeting with Suu Kyi and other top NLD party leaders on Sunday.
People could see from the incident who the provocateurs were, and it was
not the NLD, he added.
A government official said investigations were under way to find out who
had carried out the attack.
Suu Kyi, whose car windshield was smashed by stone-throwers, was
travelling in a motorcade to meet hundreds of supporters near a police
checkpoint barring public access to her University Avenue residence.
U Tin Oo's car windows were also smashed, as were those of two government
security cars also in the motorcade.
Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo had complained on Saturday that uniformed security
personnel at the scene failed to deter the attackers.
``The whole thing was carefully orchestrated by the authorities. What
kind of government is it that allows such hooliganism?'' Suu Kyi said.
The stone throwers dispersed only after a government security officer in
the motorcade waved his pistol in the air.
A government official said late on Saturday that the attackers must have
been people fed up with Suu Kyi's political activities, particularly on
weekends, which they found to be disruptive.
``She (Suu Kyi) thinks the whole country likes what she does, but there
are some people who are fed up with her activities and don't like her,'' he
11/10: Euro MPs make secretive visit to Burma's Suu Kyi
BRUSSELS, Nov 10 (Reuter) - Two European parliamentarians visited Burma
and recorded on video opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal for tighter
sanctions against the military government, British politician Glenys Kinnock
said on Sunday.
Kinnock, an outspoken critic of the Burmese government, told Reuters she
arrived in Rangoon on Friday on an ordinary tourist visa obtained in Bangkok
which gave her occupation as ``teacher.''
``It was a very unpleasant atmosphere and a very tense trip,'' said
Kinnock, who was accompanied by fellow European Member of Parliament Glyn
Ford. ``They had no idea who we were, but we still felt very uneasy.''
Kinnock and Ford -- posing as tourists -- visited Suu Kyi at her
heavily-guarded home during which they recorded on video her appeal for
tightening economic sanctions against the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC).
On Saturday, Suu Kyi emerged unscathed from an attack by stone-throwers
on her car when she drove to meet hundreds of supporters barred by police
from gathering outside her home.
The opposition National League for Democracy has accused the military
government of orchestrating the attack, but says it will not be provoked by
The SLORC has detained and then released hundreds of of Suu Kyi's party
supporters and members at various times to exert pressure on her.
During the appeal, Kinnock said, Suu Kyi condemned France for blocking a
European parliament call for the EU to withdraw special trade preferences
granted to Burma.
The video will be broadcast to European parliamentarians on Monday,