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Myanmar: Bloggers Remember 8888

8th August, 1988 is known as 8888 to Myanmar people. This was the day when pro-democracy protests erupted in Myanmar. The protests were initiated by the students demanding the restoration of a democratic government in Myanmar. Inspired by the students, government workers, monks and ordinary citizen also joined in the protests. The protests led to the fall of dictatorial regime of General Ne Win but the army took over the power immediately afterwards and ruthlessly ended the movement.

Eccentric Ghost remembers the day the protests started and how he joined in

The memories of 8888 days still fresh in my mind. I was a boy attending middle school at that time. When I heard my school is organizing to go for demonstration, I asked my mom for her permission. My mom told me I was still young and asked me for a good reason to go. I answered that if Burma became democratic country after this, I would be proud for I was part of this movement.

The blogger has more on the day's events on his blog. Eccentric Ghost pays tribute to the protesters killed by the army.

There were bloodsheds when military shot the people demonstrating peacefully especially in Yangon and Sagaing. We, the people of Burma will never forget those people who sacrificed throughout this resistance and we will never give up fighting for freedom.

Much younger Myanmar expatriate Fifty Viss recalls the day when as a young child, he got to know of the 8888 protests

I recall the first time I learned about the 1988 uprisings. It was 1996 and I was about seven, and my father’s friend from college (I don’t remember his name, but my mother always joked that he was a lanba, a tall and skinny man) visited my family to give us a homemade VHS tape of the protests and violence of 8.8.88. The people who documented these horrific events, on an ordinary black-and-white video camera must have been enormously brave. I remember the first few minutes of watching, many people protesting on a wide street. Then, my mother told me to close my eyes, fearing that the violence was too much. I obeyed, but I could hear gunshots, slaughtering by knife, screams, and rallying cries. To this day, I have not watched the entirety of the tape. Perhaps I am not ready to take in all of the tragedy that happened.

Do read Fifty Viss‘s post if you want to know about the role of the military in Myanmar's recent history.

The Burma Review blog compares the events from 8888 to the Quit India Movement launched by Gandhi in 1942 to end the British rule. The blogger concludes his analysis with the words

It [The 8888 protests] also negated the theories that, Burmese people lack democratic values and more inclined to totalitarian regime and proving importance of 8888 revolution in Modern history of Burma.

4 comments

  • Than Tun

    To me, it’s an opportunity missed. The students and the people did their bit but it failed because of selfish politicians like U Nu, U Aung Gyi and others that the military got their way.

    A lot of people lose something out of their lives but some their lives as well. There is no honour in the military of Burma today. They are not more than serial killers. Just imagine obeying their orders to shoot at school children in their green and white uniforms because they were ordered to shoot and kill communists.

    This psychology that they are just doing their job – obedience to authority – is not only in the rank and file. I’ve seen those high up in the ranks of colonnel have the same mentality.

  • Freedom for Burma, No more oppression

  • On the Begian news they told the second city of Burma/Myanmar teh streets are taken by military and it is very quiet outside. There is a fearfully tension on the streets. The leader of the opposition has talked with the U.N.-deputy today. Although promised non of the generals was available to talk with him.

    http://vyrtis.spaces.live.com/blog

    http://www.myspace.com/vyrtis

  • Jenna Major

    Hail to Heros who paved the way to democracy in Burma. The history showed that people from all ways of life needs to unite and keep the fight on. Realize the dreams of fallen heros.

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