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Myanmar Exiles Hail Suu Kyi

August 8, 1998

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Exiled students from Myanmar demonstrated today for an end to military rule in their homeland, chanting outside their embassy in Bangkok and waving posters of Aung San Suu Kyi.

About 300 students turned out to mark the 10th anniversary of a nationwide anti-government uprising in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The army eventually crushed the unrest, and an estimated 3,000 people died.

The anniversary comes at a time when Suu Kyi, a prominent opposition leader and Nobel laureate, and her National League for Democracy are stepping up pressure on the government. They have set an Aug. 21 deadline demanding the government allow an opposition-dominated Parliament elected in 1990 to finally convene.

``We believe that she (Suu Kyi) will do something if the request is ignored by the military,″ said Gaw Minth, a coordinator of the Bangkok protest.

In Myanmar’s capital of Yangon, witnesses said an increase in security checkpoints was visible. But no tanks or soldiers were seen. Yangon was calm, and schools and businesses were open.

Opposition groups marked the anniversary of the Aug. 8, 1988, pro-democracy uprising. 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 restriction to her home. ``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 Council, accused internal traitors of trying to break the country apart ``under the pretext of democracy and human rights.″

The government also announced that it had complied with Suu Kyi’s request to remove its security detail from her compound.

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