Thu 23 Dec 2004
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Bangkok: A militant Myanmar student group on Thursday claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital Yangon and warned that more attacks will follow unless opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.
One worker was injured when the bomb exploded Tuesday in a restaurant popular with foreign tourists in the capital of military-ruled Myanmar, said state media.
The Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors — which was behind an embassy hostage drama in Bangkok five years ago — said in a statement sent to AFP that more bomb attacks would follow unless its demands are met.
The group called for the “immediate release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi” and “to hand over the state power to National League for Democracy” which won a landslide victory in a 1990 general election.
The group is a small band of Myanmar anti-junta students, who in October 1999 stormed Myanmar’s Bangkok embassy. It seized 38 hostages and demanded the release of all political prisoners including the opposition leader.
The five gunmen released the hostages and were freed after being taken by helicopter to the Thai-Myanmar border in a deal with the Thai authorities.
Aung San Suu Kyi condemned the embassy raid and has spoken out against violent acts aimed at political reform.
The Nobel laureate was again detained by the junta in May 2003 following a clash between her supporters and a pro-government gang in the north of the country.
Myanmar’s democracy figurehead has undergone two other long spells of house arrest, one lasting for six years and the other for 19 months.
The blast was the fourth to strike Yangon this year.
The junta has blamed three bomb blasts in June on a pro-democracy-linked “terrorist” who was allegedly trying to disrupt a controversial meeting reworking the country’s constitution.