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Burma Blocks Dissident's Meeting
- Subject: Burma Blocks Dissident's Meeting
- From: waterly@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 19:30:00
Burma Blocks Dissident's
Sunday, January 19, 1997 2:28 pm EST
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- The military government said
a senior pro-democracy leader was blocked from meeting
at Rangoon's holiest shrine to prevent him from staging
Tin Oo, vice chairman of the National League for
Democracy led by
Aung San Suu Kyi, went to the gilded Shwedagon pagoda
to meet about 30 party supporters.
A half-dozen police and soldiers blocked him from
climbing stairs to
the pagoda's terrace, where the supporters were
gathered, and he left
after 15 minutes.
A statement from military intelligence Sunday said that
pagoda trustees'' did not believe assertions by Tin Oo
intentions were ``purely religious.''
Tin Oo has taken an increasingly high-profile role in
Kyi's supporters, who have been prevented for five
attending once-customary rallies outside her home.
Suu Kyi, 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been
stymied from meeting large crowds since student protests in
December, the most important unrest since the 1988
uprising was crushed by soldiers who gunned down
Occasional attempts to hold rallies have been made at a
intersection. But Tin Oo's efforts to speak to
supporters there Jan.
11-12 were cut short by security officials.
Suu Kyi's car was attacked by a government mob while
heading to the
same intersection in November.
``The local ward people are very much distressed by the
gatherings and decided not to allow such events from
taking place in
their ward,'' the military statement said.
Earlier Saturday, the ruling State Law and Order
announced that 20 people had been sentenced to
terms after secret trials for inciting the December
None were identified by name. The government said six
members. While Suu Kyi voiced support for the students,
that her party had no role in their protests, which
fizzled after classes
were suspended Dec. 11.
The military has ruled Burma since 1962. Suu Kyi,
independence hero Aung San, was propelled to the
leadership of the
pro-democracy movement in 1988. Her supporters won
elections in 1990 that the regime refused to honor.
Suu Kyi was freed from six years of house arrest in
1995, but scores
of her supporters have been imprisoned. The regime
rejects her calls
for a dialogue. It has kept a tight lid on dissent
while opening Burma's
once-isolated economy to market forces.
© Copyright 1997 The Associated Press