Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rangoon Under Tightened Security: Sources


(Irrawaddy News)- Burma’s ruling authorities have tightened security around Rangoon after anti-government leaflets were distributed last week, according to sources in the city.

“There are riot police and soldiers, in standby position on trucks and on the ground, at important junctions and corners in the downtown area, as well as around Shwedagon Pagoda,” a student in the former capital told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Other residents of the city also reported an increased security presence since last week. Last night, security forces were sighted patrolling in various parts of the city, including Dawbon, Sanchaung, Thingangyun, and North and South Dagon Myothit townships.

A businessman in Rangoon’s Bayintnaung Market said he heard that anti-junta leaflets were distributed around the city last week. “Since then, there are a lot more security forces around here,” he said.

An unknown dissident group has been carrying out an anti-government campaign since the beginning of January, distributing leaflets which read,

“As people have not attained freedom yet, we must continue our struggle.”
On January 4, Burma’s Independence Day, nine members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested after they held a small protest in front of the People’s Parliament building on Prome Road in Rangoon.

The protesters called for the release of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The parliament building has been unused since the current junta seized power in 1988.

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