Riot police turned out in force as Burma’s military regime marked 60 years of independence from Britain. Police presence was heaviest in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, where huge protests led by Buddhist monks erupted four-month ago and were violently suppressed by the government.
Riot police positioned themselves around city hall and Shwedagon and Sule pagodas—where the protests were focused in September, The Independent reported Saturday January 5 .
Friday January 4′s celebration was low-key with a flag-raising by junta officials near Shwedagon pagoda and a patriotic message read from Senior Gen. Than Shwe that called for the country to build a “discipline-flourishing democratic state.”
At the same time, members of the opposition party, the National League for Democracy, gathered silently outside the home of their leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 12 years under house arrest in Burma, formerly known as Burma.