8888 Uprising


8888 Uprising

The 8888 Uprising (Burmese: _my. ၈-၄လုံး or _my. ရွစ္‌ေလးလုံး; MLCTS: "hrac le: lum:") was a national revolution in Burma (Myanmar) demanding democracy in 1988. The uprising began on August 8, 1988, and from this date (8-8-88 [http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=88623&videoChannel=1] ), it is known as the "8888 Uprising".

University students began demonstrations in Yangon (Rangoon), which spread throughout the country. The uprising ended on September 18, after a bloody military coup by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Thousands, mostly Buddhist monks and civilians (primarily students) were slaughtered by the "Tatmadaw" (armed forces).

History

Before the crisis, Burma had been ruled by the repressive and isolated regime of General Ne Win since 1962. In November 1985, students gathered and boycotted the government's decision to withdraw Burmese local currency notes. In September 1987, Ne Win announced the withdrawal of the newly-replaced currency notes, 100 and 25 kyats, leaving only 45 and 90 kyat notes, apparently because only the latter two are numbers divisible by 9, considered lucky by Ne Win.

Following that decision, students at Rangoon Institute of Technology (YTU, now called Yangon Technological University) protested on campus. In response, the military killed a student activist, Phone Maw, in front of the YTU's main building. This killing led to a large protest that paved the way towards the uprising, starting on August 8, 1988.

The students were quickly joined by Burmese citizens from all walks of life, including government workers, Buddhist monks, Tatmadaw, customs officers, teachers and hospital staff. These peaceful demonstrations in the streets of Rangoon spread to other states' capitals. Ne Win ordered that, "Guns were not to shoot upwards," meaning that he was ordering the military to shoot directly at the demonstrators. The student leaders promoted a set of ten demands for the restoration of a democratic government in Burma. The Ne Win government fell and the military imposed martial law, giving absolute power to General Saw Maung, in order to quash the demonstrations.

It is estimated the military slaughtered over 3,000 civilians, including students and Buddhist monks. The military government says the death toll was only a few.

During the crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a national icon.

Aftermath

After the 8888 Uprising, another series of demonstrations took place, which were all suppressed by military force.Specify|date=September 2007

Today, the uprising is remembered and honored by many Burmese expatriates and citizens alike. The 1995 film "Beyond Rangoon", is based on a true story that took place during the uprising.

ee also

* 2007 Burmese anti-government protests
* [http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=161804047838441062&hl=en-GB| Video that shows the 8888s anniversary activity in London Burmese' Embassy and Downing street, and Ms Suu Kyi's Birthday, calling for democratic reform in Burma.]

References

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3134123.stm BBC News 'Protests mark Burma anniversary']
* [http://www3.soros.org/burma/Voices88/catalogue_index.html Soros 'Voices of '88']
* [http://www.irrawaddy.org/research_show.php?art_id=441 Partial list of 8888 Uprising victims]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7012158.stm BBC News 'Burma's 1988 Protests']
* [http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=13758&page=1 Memories of 8.8.88] Dominic Faulder, "The Irrawaddy", August 2008


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