Today marks the 33rd Anniversary of the 8888 Uprising, the student-led revolution that sparked a fire within our country’s foundations and set the tone for generations after to stand tall against military regimes and dictatorships. Just as our students back then took to the streets to protest against ruthless regime leader Ne Win, the history has repeated itself again in 2021, and our students of today are still fighting a similar fight against power-greedy Min Aung Hlaing.
On August 8, 1988, thousands of people marched the streets of Yangon and across the country, calling for the end to the vicious dictatorship and fighting for democracy. The demonstrations were violently cracked down by the military’s soldiers, killing an estimated 3000 people, imprisoning many students and stealing away their bright futures. The events following this saw Myanmar going through 22 years of another military dictatorship under the cunning military man Than Shwe, but also saw the rise of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who have championed for democratic future for the Myanmar people.
Today, many people across the country came out to honor the revolution, and the heroes of 8888 Uprising for fighting for our freedom since 1988. Residents of Yangon marched the streets with the message, “The bloody debt from 1988 will be settled in 2021.” Protesters from Mandalay and Sagaing regions never failed to show up for the rest of the country. Dawei’s protesters also came out in gloomy weather to honor the revolution heroes, and to continue rejecting the rule of Min Aung Hlaing’s military regime. DVB News also reported of a ceremony commemorating the 33rd anniversary of 8888 Uprising by the student union and general strike committee members and CDM staff in an undisclosed liberated area.
In Washington D.C, Myanmar diaspora across the U.S gathered in front of the White House in honor of the 8888 Uprising. Around 3000 people, who then proceeded to march towards the Capitol Hill building, called on the U.S government to recognize the National Unity Government (NUG) and to pass the Burma Bill. Many protesters and allies also gathered in front of the Myanmar embassy in London, which is currently controlled by military-appointed staff, to protest against the coup. NUG’s Minister for Human Rights U Aung Myo Min also urged the people to learn from the democratic norms and events of the 8888 revolution and to continue staying united to fight against the current military dictatorship.
Knowing today is an historic day, the military regime has also doubled up on security by deploying more security members everywhere, causing more tensions between the people and the military’s lackeys. This morning in Sagaing Region’s Monywa city, four men were tied up and taken away just for wearing red-colored shirts. In Yangon, around 11 young people were abducted by the regime’s forces in North Okkalapa Township. Many protests in Yangon were also cracked down before they could even start. The junta’s forces also shot at a group of people marching in Hledan junction in an attempt to disperse. Min Aung Hlaing’s regime continued to show its fear of an unarmed group of protesters just marching through the streets.
Last night in Yangon, sounds of gunshots were reported at the compound of state-owned broadcasting channel MRTV near the Hanthawaddy roundabout. The event happened around 9pm and residents nearby in Sanchaung Township said they could hear non-stop shooting sounds, and a passerby reportedly got injured in the crossfire. Residents of Tamwe, Thingangyun and South Okkalapa townships also reported explosions last night according to Eleven Media.
In more explosion reports, two explosions were reported in Magway Air Force Base compound this morning around 4am, and a bomb also exploded in the prison of Mandalay Region’s Mogok town last night, injuring two members of the regime’s forces. Speaking of the demise of military regime’s members, a navy captain was shot to death at close range on the night of August 7 in Ohn Pin village of Yangon Region’s Khayan Township. Residents of Ohn Pin village and Kin Pun Chone village, where the naval base is located, were heavily interrogated by the junta’s forces, Myanmar Now reported.
Last night in Sagaing Region, a military convoy leaving Depayin Township was hit by a landmine attack near Sai Pyin and Kyi villages, damaging two military trucks, and injuring over 30 soldiers. As usual, the military retaliated in the only way they knew which was raiding villages on the east of Depayin Township with over 100 security members and shooting at everything they saw. In Nyaung Hla village, the military’s lackeys raided the homes and burned down the residents’ motorbikes with no explanation given. A resident told DVB News that about 10 innocent civilians were abducted during the raid, causing the residents to flee their villages. To make the matter worse, the villagers were facing difficulties to keep on fleeing as the tide of Mu River continued to rise, and people were worried about the incoming floods as well.
In honor of the 33rd anniversary of the 8888 Uprising, here’s our wish to continue fighting and keeping our revolution alive inside and outside until our entire nation is at peace.