President Maung Maung on Thursday rejected protesters' demands for an interim government but said he will allow the formation of student unions, which have been illegal in Burma.

Earlier Thursday, striking employees closed Rangoon's airport despite a government warning. Striking public employees said 1 million people would turn out for an anti-government rally at a park, but only about 100,000 showed up.In a speech broadcast over state-run Rangon radio, Maung Maung said any changes in Burma's one-party government must follow constitutional procedures.

He said the government already plans a Sept. 12 meeting to consider holding a referendum on one-party rule, a process that could lead to amendment of the constitution and general elections.