“The government has ordered the 22nd Division troops to pull out of Karen state and return to Yangon,” Colonel Nerda Mya of the Karen National Union told the news agency. “We believe the troops will be used as in 1988.”

Troops from remote areas, unfamiliar with current events in the big cities, were deployed at that time in the killings of civilians. ~The New York Times

The Chinese government used the same methods in 1989, bringing in reserves from Sichuan and other provinces to crush the students in Tiananmen, and you would almost have to assume that Beijing is giving the junta tips on how to quell the protest, since a change in the political situation there could create difficulties for their neo-colonial treatment of Burma.  We may hope that things go well for the protesters, but it seems to me that they recalled the forces from fighting the Karen minority precisely because these are the forces that have already become accustomed to engaging in harsh repression of civilian populations.  After what they have done to the Karen, dispersing some protesters and cracking heads will seem like nothing at all.