8888 Uprising Is Not Forgotten/Global Burma Day

Posted: August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Burma is the country where children are  born in the middle of  demonstrations ,protests ,violence  and send their parents to prison not to be able to  see them again and  become a soldier ,hold  a gun at  very young age. They learn  the word democracy  before any child in the world. Only one word has been holding their hopes and their dreams  since 1962. “Democracy”.

Soldiers violently stopped protestors in Burma on 08.08.88.

Burma’s battle for democracy started in 1962 ,when one-state-government came to power , just after the country’s only  14 years democratic  period  since 1948. The new  one-state-government  of General Ne Win  soon started to  repress and isolate Burmese and  impoverish the country. Burma  had a national dept of $35 million in 1985 under  Win’s management .

Students   in Burma  were  on the street  protesting  almost after every decision of the government from 1985 to 1988 and  fighting  military force  for democratic regime and human rights. Ne Win resigned on 23 July 1988 and left his place to Sein Lwin who was  going to be called “Butcher of Rangoon” by Burmese.

On 08.08.88 students  started a nationwide protest in Rangoon  to end the suppressive military  junta and bring democracy back to the country.22 years  ago today ,hundreds of thousands of Burmese  including students, lawyers, farmers, monks, young children, housewives, workers, ethnic minorities, Buddhist ,Muslims were on the street  protesting  against the government  to have a democratic regime .Protests across  Burma continued four days. However authorities opened fire on the protestors. “Guns were not to shoot upwards.”, ordered  General Ne Win ,meaning the military to shoot directly at the demonstrators. The protest which is also known “8888 Uprising”  became violent  as the protestors  responded with swards, knives, rocks, etc…and it  killed thousands of Burmese but  the official figure of death  was only 350.

Thousands ,including children died in the Uprising 8888.

On the fourth day of the 8888 Uprising , Lwin unexpectedly resigned. On 19 August Ne Win’s biographer Dr Maung Maung ‘s presidency fuelled up ongoing protests and made it even worse. While Aung San Suu Kyi  was calling protestors to find peace through non-violence movements, appearing for the first time in the political arena on August 26,the military junta of Saw Maung   retook the power in the country on September 18.Maung established the State Law and Order  Restoration Council .

Maung’s  government ended the protests violently with no discrimination of children.3000 Burmese died and  the number of injured people remained unknown. Schools and universities  were going to be kept closed for years.

The UN countries and most of Burma’s neighbour countries did not recognise  Burmese’s battle for democratic regime .Japan and many Western countries cut aid to the country. India closed its borders and set refugee camps along the border with Burma.

No nation in the world has ever fought for the democracy as much as Burmese have and no  government  in the history has ever resisted against democracy as much as Burma has.Burmese’s  battle inspired many writers and directors .Richard Shannon’s  play  “The Lady of Burma”, Alex Lasker and Bill Rubenstein’s  movie “Beyond Rangoon”  are great  work to show  the world what Burmese went through .

However Burmese battle has not ended yet. “Saffron Revolution” ,Burmese Anti-Government Protest in 2007 proved that they had not given up on democracy and they never will. No matter how violent the junta is ,no matter how many political prisoners they have they will never give up. Every child in Burma  is revolutionist. They will fight for democracy until they die.

Waihin is one of those children whose father was involved in the Uprising 8888 and sentenced for 65 years in jail.Waihin is now grown up ,studies and organises demostrations  for Burmese people in London.Visit the link below to listen to her story .

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