MOREH, INDIA, Sept 19, Reuter: Burmese guerrillas said on Monday they would back a popular uprising by stepping up their war against Rangoon following a military coup there.

“The army takeover is a threat to the democratic aspirations of the Burmese people and must be fought with all determination,” declared the rebels clandestine radio monitored in this town near the Burmese border.

The radio issued a statement in the name of the National Democratic Front (NDF), an alliance of 10 guerrilla groups, including the Burmese Communist Party which has fought Rangoon for decades.

“The National Democratic Front will step up armed revolutionary activities against the Burmese armed forces to help the Burmese people achieve their objectives,” it said.

The Burmese Army took power on Sunday after weeks of huge prodemocracy demonstrations that swept away two leaders of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP), the country’s sole legal party.

Burmese citizens and western diplomats in Rangoon say the military takeover was almost certainly orchestrated by former leader Ne Win in an attempt to crush the popular uprising.

The rebel broadcast, aired just before witnesses in Rangoon said soldiers opened fire and killed scores of people defying a ban on demonstrations, called on the army to go back to the barracks.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 23, 1988