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Burma riot police, NLD men clash (I

Burma riot police, NLD men clash

Rangoon, Nov. 28: Burmese riot police trying to prevent a meeting
between Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and member of her
political party scuffled with a dozen of her supporters in Rangoon on
Tuesday morning.
As Ms Suu Kyi's motorcade approached the Mayangon office
of the National League for Democracy at about 9 am, about a dozen
members rushed past police barricades toward her white sedan.
A scuffle broke out between the party members and Burmese baton-wielding
riot police.
Reporters, other party members and local residents were pushed away from
the scene by the riot Police and were unable to see the result of the
The incident dashed hopes of supporters of Burma's pro-democracy
movement led by Ms Sun Kyi that tensions between the democrats and the
military government are easing.  Last week, the military government had
allowed Philippines foreign minister Domingo Siazon to meet the Nobel
laureate. He is the highest-ranking government official from a Southeast
Asian country ever to meet her.
Ms Suu Kyi was also permitted to visit an NI.D office in Thaketa
township, a northern suburb of Rangoon, on October 21, where she met
about 100 members of the youth wing of her party.
She pledged that she would begin making visits to all the NLD offices to
reorganize the youth wing of the party.
Diplomats in Rangoon hailed the decision by the military government to
allow Ms Su Kyi to travel outside her borne and conduct peaceful
political activities as a step forward.
The military government has placed strict limitations on Ms Suu Kyi's
ability to leave her borne for more than a year.
An official of the Mayangon branch of the NLD said the party had
followed government regulations and asked local officials for permission
to hold the meeting of the youth wing on Tuesday. But on Monday evening,
government officials denied the party's request, telling them that "any
subversive group could take advantage of this meeting to cause
problems," said the NLD member, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some
members of the NLD youth wing showed up at the office as early as 6
ant.  But at 7.30 am, squads of Lon Htein, or riot police, showed up to
set up barbed wire barricades and block all roads leading to the office.
Which is about 600 meters north of Ms Sun Kyi's home.  They politely
asked NID members to go home, but most refused and waited on Kaba Aye
Pagoda road for Ms Sun Kyi to arrive. (AP)

The Asian Age (India)
Date: 29. Nov 1997