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Burmese Rally in Support of Regime's Foe

June 24, 1989|From Times Wire Services

BANGKOK, Thailand — Hundreds of Burmese--some estimates put the number in the thousands--rallied in central Rangoon on Friday after an unprecedented denunciation of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi by the military government, diplomats said.

They said tension was high in the capital after a government news conference Thursday in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party was equated with the banned Communist Party. The military of Burma--which the government is now calling Myanmar, according to a decree last week--said it would take steps if the politician's party "remained confrontational."

The 44-year-old leader of the National League for Democracy is the daughter of Burma's assassinated independence leader Gen. Aung San.

Singled Out by Regime

The verbal attack by the government marked the first time Aung San Suu Kyi or the democracy league had been directly condemned.

The democracy league, which says it has a membership of more than 1 million, grew out of the student-led mass popular movement that last year forced the collapse of the repressive single-party socialist state that had ruled the country for a decade.

The league has been the major force campaigning for unhindered political activity since the army seized power last September and promised to hold an election.

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