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Burmese junta t tens security net a

Subject: Burmese junta t tens security net as New Year festival nears, The Asian Age (New Delhi) 5/4/97

Burmese junta t tens security net as New Year festival nears
The Asian Age (New Delhi), 6/4/97

Rangoon: The military commander of Rangoon division has urged both
civilian and military officials to be alert to security threats during
festivities leading up to the Burmese New Year on April 17.

Rangoon city mayor Ko Lay issued a similar warning, calling for thorough
vetting of people taking part in song, dance and slogan chanting
competitions to prevent anti-governrnent agitation.

Security was stepped up in Rangoon and other urban centres after
Buddhist-Muslim tensions erupted three weeks ago, with groups of
Buddhist monks vandalising mosques and destroying Muslim property. The
Burmese New Year, which falls on April 17, is traditionally preceded by
four days of revelry in which people crowd the streets good-naturedly
splash each other with water and hold community festivities. "Given the
prevailing situation, it is incumbent upon district and township
officials to be constantly on security alert until the Thingyan (water
festival) ends," the military commander, Maj.  Gen. Khin Maung Than said
on Friday.