China has delivered 80 FAW transport trucks to police grounds on the outskirts of Yangon in what may be an effort to beef up preparations for more protests, witnesses said Thursday.

They reported seeing about 40 of the 2.75-ton trucks at the Kyaik-Ka-San police grounds in Bahan Township, Yangon.

Informed sources said another 100 trucks for transporting police and troops were due to be delivered soon.

There was speculation that the trucks were part of preparations for more disturbances in the former capital, as the country gears up for a controversial referendum on a new constitution in May.

Opposition groups are urging citizens to vote against the new charter, which was drafted by a military-appointed forum and will legitimize the military’s role in Myanmar’s political future.

On Wednesday, the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) issued a statement requesting all people to “bravely vote no” against the constitution because it was drafted without participation by elected members of parliament.

Although the NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the last general election of 1990 in a landslide, the party has been blocked from power by Myanmar’s ruling junta for the past 18 years on the claim that the country needed a new charter before civilians could rule.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962, when General Ne Win seized power in a coup that toppled the elected government of former premier U Nu, and turned the once-prosperous nation into a socialist state.

Anti-military riots first rocked Myanmar in 1988, before they were stopped by an army-led bloodbath that left estimated 3,000 protesters dead.

In August and September, peaceful protests broke out against the regime’s mismanagement of the economy, led by Buddhist monks. Troops cracked down on the protesters on September 25 to 26, killing at least 31 people.