"Police formed a human chain across a road leading to Burma’s biggest city on Wednesday, telling hundreds of student protesters that
authorities would “take action” unless they dispersed.
The standoff in front of a monastery in Letpadan, 140 kilometers (90 miles) from Rangoon, entered its third day, with no sign either
side was ready to back down.
The demonstrators—who have been rallying for more than a month and gaining public sympathy—want the government to scrap a new
education law that they say curbs academic freedom.
The law, passed by Parliament in September, puts all decisions about policy and curriculum in the hands of a group largely made up
of government ministers. Students say the law undermines the autonomy of universities, which are still struggling to recover after
clampdowns on academic independence and freedom during years of dictatorship.
Police have repeatedly warned that they will take action to “restore law and order” if the protesters try to bring their rally to
Rangoon. But some town residents have stood behind the students, offering encouragement."