(VBSW) Student Warriors lambast junta over false accusations
Than Htike Oo
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 19:43
Chiang Mai – An armed student rebel group – Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (VBSW) – on Wednesday slammed the ruling junta for accusing opposition members and human rights activists of a bomb blast in Rangoon in early July.
VBSW, a group claiming to operate in Rangoon, in a statement reiterated that they were behind the blast at the government-backed civilian organization, Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), office in Rangoon’s suburban township of Shwepyithar on July 1.
The group also lambasted the junta for arresting members of the National League for Democracy and Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network (HRDP) for charges against the blast.
Despite claiming responsibility for the blast, the junta was unable to arrest its members, said the VBSW, adding that accusing and arresting members of the NLD and HRPD is an act intended to defame Burma’s main opposition party, which maintains a policy of non-violence.
“Lying in front of the press and arresting those believed to have connection with us and torturing them in concentration camps will only prompt more blasts across the country,” the VBSW said in their statement, circulated through email among the Burmese community.
Burma’s Police Chief, Brigadier General Khin Yi, during a rare press conference on Sunday accused members of the NLD and HRDP leader Myint Aye of plotting bomb blasts, including the blast in Shwepyithar.
Since July, the junta has arrested several youth members of the NLD, HRDP leader Myint Aye and other activists for allegedly planting bombs.
“Arresting members of the NLD and human rights activists will not subdue the people’s resistance against the military but will only increase the level of resistance,” the group asserted.
The VBSW, a group which cannot be reached by either email or phone, on July 2 claimed responsibility for the blast at the Shwepyithar USDA office as well as for a previous blast near the ABC restaurant in downtown Rangoon in April.
Both of the blasts, however, did not cause any human casualties, only damaging vehicles and furniture.
Meanwhile, the junta has stepped up efforts to crackdown on opposition activists, on Monday arresting four activists from Yenan Chaung township of Magwe in Central Burma and interrogating them over the recent bomb blasts.
However, the four activists, two of which are from the NLD, were later released after hours of interrogation.
Tint Lwin, one of the activists interrogated, told Mizzima over telephone that they were mainly asked whether they possess any explosives and plan to carry out any blasts or demonstrations.
Observers say the increased arrests of activists within the past two months could be an effort by the junta to curb any form of activities that might result in a repetition of last year’s September protests.