Marking the 10th anniversary of an anti-government uprising that was brutally crushed, hundreds of exiled students from Myanmar renewed their calls Saturday for an end to their nation's military rule.
About 300 students chanted outside their embassy in Bangkok and waved posters of Aung San Suu Kyi, a prominent opposition leader and Nobel laureate. She and her National League for Democracy party have set an Aug. 21 deadline, demanding the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, allow an opposition-dominated Parliament elected in 1990 to finally convene.In Myanmar's capital of Yangon, witnesses said there was a visible increase in security checkpoints. But no tanks or soldiers were seen. Yangon was calm, and schools and businesses were open.
Opposition groups, however, marked the anniversary of the Aug. 8, 1988, pro-democracy uprising, in which an estimated 3,000 people died. Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, urged her countrymen in a videotaped message seen in Bangkok on Friday to not give up hope that the military, which has ruled since 1962, would relinquish power.
"We will win," said Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the past decade under house arrest or other form of imprisonment. "Do not lose heart. We will never give up, so don't give up."
In a speech reported in official newspapers, Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, a member of Myanmar's ruling State Peace and Development Coun-cil, accused internal traitors of trying to break the country apart "under the pretext of democracy and human rights."