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Junta gets people to barricade Suu

Subject: Junta gets people to barricade Suu Kyi's house (The Asian Age, 13/7/97.)

Junta gets people to barricade Suu Kyi's house
The Asian Age, 13/1/97 (New Delhi)
Rangoon, Jan. 12: Burmese authorities mobilised civilians rather than 
armed riot police on Sunday to keep crowds of Aung San Suu Kyi supporters 
from gathering near a busy intersection in Rangoon, the witnesses said.
Dozens of men in civilian clothes, wearing yellow armbands saying "on 
duty for the people," were stationed near a busy intersection where the 
Opposition National League for . Democracy leader's supporters have been 
gathering on weekends.
The men approached people in the area and asked them to move on, 
performing the same function that three truckloads of armed riot police 
had on the previous day.
NLD supporters, spread out along the street over about 100 metres, 
quickly converged along with bystanders and photo-snapping military 
intelligence officers when NLD vice-chairman Tin Oo made an appearance.
"I come here at the bidding of Aung San Suu Kyi, who sends her best 
wishes and thanks you for your support," Mr Tin Oo said.
As the men with yellow armbands approached, Mr Tin Oo told the crowd they 
should leave the area to avoid giving any excuses to security forces or 
provoking any incidents. He left after about one minute and the crowd 
quickly dispersed.
NLD supporters have used the intersection, about one kilometre from Ms 
Suu Kyi's residence, as a meeting point to greet party leaders since the 
authorities halted regular public meetings outside the Nobel Peace Prize 
laureate's compound,
The meetings were held every weekend following her release from house 
west in July 1995 until the end of September last year, when her 
residence was blockaded to prevent the party from holding a national 
The roadblocks have come down intermittently but are remounted every 
weekend and when public disturbances or events take place, such as the 
large student demonstrations last month or the current national sports 
Groups in civilian clothes and yellow armbands were often used to patrol 
areas when large public events are held, but Sunday was the first time 
they were used against Ms Suu Kyi's supporters, one observer noted.
Major Hla Min, a Burmese intelligence official, said in a facsimile send 
from Rangoon to Bangkok Saturday that NLD members had been dispersed 
because they had been gathering in the path of the spoils festival's 
torch bearer.
This move by the NLD showed clear indications that, given the chance,. 
they intended to disrupt the opening ceremonies of the National Sports 
Festival, so security personnel are now on the alert and carrying out 
their duties with vigilance to prevent any untoward incidents," he said.