Universities and colleges in Burma will be closed today (Monday), as the country's ruling military government continues a crackdown on the democratic opposition.
Burmese professors say they were told to suspend their classes indefinitely by Monday, when a new semester is due to begin. No reason was given for the closures.
The authorities have also reportedly moved opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to the capital Rangoon from the north of the country, where on Friday she was placed in what the military called "protective custody."
Reports from Rangoon say the government has closed all major offices of the opposition National League for Democracy and placed a half-dozen of the party's top leaders under house arrest. Their telephones have been cut off.
Authorities detained Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and about 20 of her associates late Friday while she was on a political tour in the north. The United Nations has expressed concern over her arrest, and called on the opposition and Burma's military rulers to resume stalled reconciliation talks.
UN special envoy Razali Ismail told reporters in Kuala Lampur he still intends to travel to Burma on Friday despite Aung San Suu Kyi's arrest. He has been working to revive communications between the two sides.
The United States has called for Aung San Suu Kyi and her associates to be freed immediately, and urged Burma's military rulers to allow NLD headquarters to re-open.
A military spokesman said Saturday that Aung San Suu Kyi and the others were placed in what he called "protective custody" after clashes between NLD members and supporters of the government. Leaders of her National League for Democracy had complained of harassment and intimidation by government supporters during a political trip.
Four people reportedly were killed and 50 were injured during violent clashes in one northern town (Ye Oo, 560 kilometers from Rangoon). The government blamed the violence on speeches by Aung San Suu Kyi in which she criticized the government.
The National League for Democracy won Burma's last parliamentary election by a landslide in 1990, but the military refused to relinquish power. The election campaign and the vote coincided with the longest period Aung San Suu Kyi was held under house arrest, from 1989 to 1995.