(Reuters) - Myanmar soldiers and police scattered demonstrators in central Yangon on Thursday, telling them to go home or be shot as the junta intensified a crackdown on the largest protests against military rule in nearly 20 years.
Here is a timeline of the military’s efforts to control the former Burma since it seized power in a coup 45 years ago.
* March 1962: Army commander General Ne Win seizes power, ousting three-time Prime Minister U Nu.
* March 1988: A fight between students and locals in a Yangon tea shop escalates into demonstrations in which dozens of students are killed by riot police and troops.
— September 18: General Saw Maung overthrows ruling Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) and establishes the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) after two months of near daily demonstrations and food and fuel shortages in Yangon. More than 3,000 demonstrators are killed in the days after the coup.
* July 19-20, 1989: National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and party chairman Tin Oo cancel planned march by 100 opposition groups, fearing military violence. Both are placed under house arrest. Tin Oo is later sentenced to three years jail.
* August 1990: Several people reported killed during protests demanding elected chamber after generals reject landslide election victory by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
* September 27, 1996: Police bar NLD from holding meeting at Suu Kyi’s home. Many party members are arrested.
* January 1997: 14 people, including five NLD members, jailed for seven years for student demonstrations in December 1996.
— March 16: Curfew imposed after anti-Muslim rioting in Mandalay. A week later, 100 monks are detained by security forces after attacking a mosque in Yangon in further anti-Muslim unrest.
— May 27: Roads closed around Suu Kyi’s house to stop supporters marking anniversary of 1990 election victory. Some 300 NLD members arrested.
* July-Aug 1998: Suu Kyi carries out series of roadside protests after her car is halted outside Yangon. Students rally in Yangon. She returns home by ambulance.
* May, 2003 - Suu Kyi and many NLD leaders are put under “protective custody” after clashes between her supporters and those of the junta. The government says four people died and as many as 50 were injured. She remains in detention.
* December 2005: Government battalions shell villages and refugee hide-outs in southern Karenni State and neighbouring Karen State, forcing 3,000 people to flee their homes.
* March-April 2006: Troops wage biggest military offensive in 10 years to quell five-decade insurgency by ethnic Karen rebels.
* Aug-Sept 2007: A sharp spike in fuel prices sparks the biggest protests in 20 years. Tens of thousands of monks and civilians demonstrate in Yangon and other cities.
Sources: Reuters, A Political Chronology of Southeast Asia and Oceania