8888 Uprising

The 8888 Nationwide Popular Pro-Democracy Protests (MLCTS: hrac le: lum:), also known as the 8-8-88 Uprisings, or the People Power Uprising,[6] the People's Democracy Movement and the 1988 Uprising, were a series of nationwide protests,[7] marches and civil unrest[8] in Burma (Myanmar) that peaked in August 1988. Key events occurred on 8 August 1988 and therefore it is known as the 8888 Uprising.[9] The protests began as a student movement and were organised largely by university students at the Rangoon Arts and Sciences University and the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT).

Since 1962, the Burma Socialist Programme Party had ruled the country as a totalitarian one-party state, headed by General Ne Win. Under the government agenda, called the Burmese Way to Socialism, which involved economic isolation and strengthening the military, Burma became one of the world's most impoverished countries.[10][11][12] Many firms in the formal sector of the economy were nationalised, and the government combined Soviet-style central planning with Buddhist and traditional beliefs.[12]

The 8888 uprising was started by students in Yangon (Rangoon) on 8 August 1988. Student protests spread throughout the country.[3][10] Hundreds of thousands of monks, children, university students, housewives, doctors and common people protested against the government.[13][14] The uprising ended on 18 September after a bloody military coup by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Thousands of deaths have been attributed to the military during this uprising,[3][4][5] while authorities in Myanmar put the figure at around 350 people killed.[15][16]

During the crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a national icon. When the military junta arranged an election in 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy, won 81% of the seats in the government (392 out of 492).[17] However, the military junta refused to recognise the results and continued ruling the country as the State Law and Order Restoration Council. Aung San Suu Kyi was also put under house arrest. The State Law and Order Restoration Council would be a cosmetic change from the Burma Socialist Programme Party.[13] Suu Kyi's house arrest was lifted in 2010, when worldwide attention for her peaked again during the making of the biographical film The Lady.

8888 Uprising
Info box collage for 8888 Uprising
  • 1st row: Protesters gathering at Sule Pagoda, central Rangoon
  • 2nd row: Protesters rallying in Mandalay; Aung San Suu Kyi addresses half a million of protesters at central Yangon.
  • 3rd row: Soldiers about to open fire on protesters; Two doctors carry a critically wounded school girl.
Date12 March 1988 – 21 September 1988
Burma (Nationwide)
Caused by
GoalsDemocracy in Burma
Resulted inViolently suppressed
  • 3,000–10,000[3][4][5]
  • Tens of thousands of protesters fled to Thailand and joined insurgent groups
InjuriesUnknown, Possible tens of thousands
ArrestedUnknown, Possible thousands


Economic problems

Before the crisis, Burma had been ruled by the repressive and isolated regime of General Ne Win since 1962. The country had a national debt of $3.5 billion and currency reserves of between $20 million and $35 million, with debt service ratios standing at half of the national budget.[18] In November 1985, students gathered and boycotted the government's decision to withdraw Burmese local currency notes. Economic problems coupled with counter-insurgency required continuous involvement in the international market.[19]

On 5 September 1987, Ne Win announced the withdrawal of the newly replaced currency notes, 100, 75, 35 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.[20] Students were particularly angry at the government's decision as savings for tuition fees were wiped out instantly.[21] Students from the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) ran riot through Rangoon, smashing windows and traffic lights down Insein Road.[22] Universities in Rangoon closed and sent students home. Meanwhile, larger protests in Mandalay involved monks and workers, with some burning government buildings and state businesses.[23] Burmese state media reported little on the protests, but information quickly spread through the students.[23]

With the re-opening of schools in late October 1987, underground groups in Rangoon and Mandalay produced dissident leaflets which culminated in bombs exploding in November.[23] Police later received threatening letters from underground groups, who organised small protests around the university campus.[24] After securing Least Developed Country status from the United Nations Economic and Social Council in December 1987, government policy requiring farmers to sell produce below market rates to create greater revenue for the government sparked several, violent rural protests.[25] The protests were fanned by public letters to Ne Win by former second in command General Brigadier Aung Gyi from July 1987, reminding him of the 1967 rice riots and condemning lack of economic reform, describing Burma as "almost a joke" compared to other Southeast Asian nations. He was later arrested.[19][26]

Early democracy protests

On 12 March 1988, students from the RIT were arguing with out-of-school youths inside the Sanda Win tea shop about music playing on a sound system.[6][23] A drunken youth would not return a tape that the RIT students favoured.[27] A brawl followed in which one youth, who was the son of a BSPP official, was arrested and later released for injuring a student.[23] Students protested at a local police department where 500 riot police were mobilised and in the ensuing clash, one student, Phone Maw, was shot and killed.[23] The incident angered pro-democracy groups and the next day more students rallied at the RIT and spread to other campuses.[28] The students, who had never protested before, increasingly saw themselves as activists.[23] There was growing resentment towards military rule and there were no channels to address grievances, further exacerbated by police brutality, economic mismanagement and corruption within the government.[6]

By mid-March, several protests had occurred and there was open dissent in the army. Various demonstrations were broken up by using tear gas canisters to disperse crowds.[20] On 16 March, students demanding an end to one party rule marched towards soldiers at Inya Lake when riot police stormed from the rear, clubbing several students to death and raping others.[29] Several students recalled the police shouting, "Don't let them escape" and "Kill them!".[30]

Ne Win resigns

Following the latest protests, authorities announced the closure of universities for several months.[31] By June 1988, large demonstrations of students and sympathisers were a daily sight.[31] Many students, sympathisers and riot police died throughout the month as the protests spread throughout Burma from Rangoon. Large scale protests were reported in Pegu, Mandalay, Tavoy, Toungoo, Sittwe, Pakokku, Mergui, Minbu and Myitkyina.[32] Demonstrators in larger numbers demanded multi-party democracy, which marked Ne Win's resignation on 23 July 1988.[31] In a valedictory address given that day, Win affirmed that "When the army shoots, it shoots to kill."[20] He also promised a multi-party system, but he had appointed the largely disliked Sein Lwin, known as the "Butcher of Rangoon"[33] to head a new government.[26]

Main protests

1–7 August

Burma Socialist Programme Party flag
Flag of the Burma Socialist Programme Party, the sole legal political party that ruled the country from 1962 to 1988.

Protests reached their peak in August 1988. Students planned for a nationwide demonstration on 8 August 1988, an auspicious date based on numerological significance.[2] News of the protest reached rural areas and four days prior to the national protest, students across the country were denouncing Sein Lwin's regime and Tatmadaw troops were being mobilised.[2] Pamphlets and posters appeared on the streets of Rangoon bearing the fighting peacock insignia of the All-Burma Students Union.[34] Neighbourhood and strike committees were openly formed on the advice of underground activists, many of which were influenced by similar underground movements by workers and monks in the 1980s.[34] Between 2 and 10 August, co-ordinated protests were occurring in most Burmese towns.[35]

During this period, dissident newspapers were freely publishing, fighting-peacock banners were unfurled, synchronised marches were held and rally speakers were protected.[34] In Rangoon, the first signs of the movement began around the Buddhist full moon of Waso at the Shwedagon Pagoda when student demonstrators emerged demanding support for the demonstrations.[36] Neighbourhood and strike committees barricaded and defended neighbourhoods and mobilised further demonstrations.[34] In some areas, committees built makeshift stages where speakers addressed the crowds and brought donations to support rallies.[37]

Flag of National League for Democracy
The NLD Flag depicting a fighting peacock became a symbol of the protests on the streets of Burma.

In the first few days of the Rangoon protests, activists contacted lawyers and monks[38] in Mandalay to encourage them to take part in the protests.[37] The students were quickly joined by Burmese citizens from all walks of life, including government workers, Buddhist monks, air force and navy personnel, customs officers, teachers and hospital staff. The demonstrations in the streets of Rangoon became a focal point for other demonstrations, which spread to other states' capitals.[39] 10,000 protesters alone demonstrated outside the Sule Pagoda in Rangoon, where demonstrators burned and buried effigies of Ne Win and Sein Lwin in coffins decorated with demonetised bank notes.[20] Further protests took place around the country at stadiums and hospitals.[40] Monks at the Sule Pagoda reported that the Buddha's image had changed shape, with an image in the sky standing on its head.[20] On 3 August, the authorities imposed martial law from 8 pm to 4 am and a ban on gatherings of more than five people.[40]

8–12 August

Across Burma, people poured out in thousands to join the protests – not just students but also teachers, monks, children, professionals, and trade unionists of every shade. It was on this day, too, that the junta made its first determined attempt at repression. Soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators and hundreds of unarmed marchers were killed. The killings continued for a week, but still the demonstrators continued to flood the streets.
— Amitav Ghosh (2001)[39]

A general strike, as planned, began on 8 August 1988. Mass demonstrations were held across Burma as ethnic minorities, Buddhists, Muslims, students, workers and the young and old all demonstrated.[20] The first procession circled Rangoon, stopping for people to speak. A stage was also erected.[37] Demonstrators from the Rangoon neighbourhoods converged in downtown Rangoon. Only one casualty was reported at this point as a frightened traffic policeman fired into the crowd and fled.[37] (Such marches would occur daily until 19 September.)[37] Protesters kissed the shoes of soldiers, in an attempt to persuade them to join the civilian protest, whilst some encircled military officers to protect them from the crowd and earlier violence[41][42] Over the next four days these demonstrations continued; the government was surprised by the scale of the protests and stated that it promised to heed the demands of the protesters "insofar as possible".[40] Lwin had brought in more soldiers from insurgent areas to deal with the protesters.[43]

In Mandalay Division, a more organised strike committee was headed by lawyers and discussion focused on multi-party democracy and human rights. Many participants in the protests arrived from nearby towns and villages.[44] Farmers who were particularly angry with the government's economic policies joined the protests in Rangoon. In one village, 2,000 of the 5,000 people also went on strike.[44]

A short while later, the authorities opened fire on the protesters.[3][20] Ne Win ordered that "guns were not to shoot upwards," meaning that he was ordering the military to shoot directly at the demonstrators.[39] Protesters responded by throwing Molotov cocktails, swords, knives, rocks, poisoned darts and bicycle spokes.[20] In one incident, protesters burned a police station and tore apart four fleeing officers.[42] On 10 August, soldiers fired into Rangoon General Hospital, killing nurses and doctors tending to the wounded.[45] State-run Radio Rangoon reported that 1,451 "looters and disturbance makers" had been arrested.[26]

Estimates of the number of casualties surrounding the 8-8-88 demonstrations range from hundreds to 10,000;[3][4][5] military authorities put the figures at about 95 people killed and 240 wounded.[46]

13–31 August

Lwin's sudden and unexplained resignation on 12 August left many protestors confused and jubilant. Security forces exercised greater caution with demonstrators, particularly in neighbourhoods that were entirely controlled by demonstrators and committees.[42] On 19 August, under pressure to form a civilian government, Ne Win's biographer, Dr. Maung Maung was appointed as head of government.[47] Maung was a legal scholar and the only non-military individual to serve in the Burma Socialist Programme Party.[2] The appointment of Maung briefly resulted in a subsidence of the shooting and protests.

8888 navy protest
Burmese Navy personnel demonstrating

Nationwide demonstrations resumed on 22 August 1988. In Mandalay, 100,000 people protested, including Buddhist monks and 50,000 demonstrated in Sittwe.[2] Large marches took places from Taunggyi and Moulmein to distant ethnic states (particularly where military campaigns had previously taken place),[48] where red, the symbolic colour for democracy was displayed on banners.[2] Two days later, doctors, monks, musicians, actors, lawyers, army veterans and government office workers joined the protests.[49] It became difficult for committees to control the protests. During this time, demonstrators became increasingly wary of "suspicious looking" people and police and army officers. On one occasion, a local committee mistakenly beheaded a couple thought to have been carrying a bomb.[50] Incidents like these were not as common in Mandalay, where protests were more peaceful as they were organised by monks and lawyers.[50]

On 26 August, Aung San Suu Kyi, who had watched the demonstrations from her mother's bedside,[51] entered the political arena by addressing half a million people at Shwedagon Pagoda.[49] It was at this point that she became a symbol for the struggle in Burma, particularly in the eyes of the Western world.[52] Kyi, as the daughter of Aung San, who led the independence movement, appeared ready to lead the movement for democracy.[53] Kyi urged the crowd not to turn on the army but find peace through non-violent means.[54] At this point in time for many in Burma, the uprising was seen as similar to that of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines in 1986.[26]

Around this time, former Prime Minister U Nu and retired Brigadier General Aung Gyi also re-emerged onto the political scene in what was described as a "democracy summer" when many former democracy leaders returned.[32] Despite the gains made by the democracy movement, Ne Win remained in the background.


During the September congress of 1988, 90% of party delegates (968 out of 1080) voted for a multi-party system of government.[49] The BSPP announced they would be organising an election, but the opposition parties called for their immediate resignation from government, allowing an interim government to organise elections. After the BSPP rejected both demands, protesters again took to the streets on 12 September 1988.[49] Nu promised elections within a month, proclaiming a provisional government. Meanwhile, the police and army began fraternising with the protesters.[55] The movement had reached an impasse relying on three hopes: daily demonstrations to force the regime to respond to their demands, encouraging soldiers to defect and appealing to an international audience in the hope that United Nations or United States troops would arrive.[56] Some Tatmadaw did defect, but only in limited numbers, mostly from the Navy.[57] Stephen Solarz who had experienced the recent democracy protests in the Philippines and South Korea arrived in Burma in September encouraging the regime to reform, which echoed the policy of the United States government towards Burma.[58]

By mid-September, the protests grew more violent and lawless, with soldiers deliberately leading protesters into skirmishes that the army easily won.[59] Protesters demanded more immediate change, and distrusted steps for incremental reform.[60]

SLORC "coup" and crackdown

If the army shoots, it has no tradition of shooting into the air. It shoots straight to kill.

— Ne Win[61][62]

On 18 September 1988, the military retook power in the country. General Saw Maung repealed the 1974 constitution and established the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), "imposing more Draconian measures than Ne Win had imposed."[63] After Maung had imposed martial law, the protests were violently broken up. The government announced on the state-run radio that the military had assumed power in the people's interest, "in order to bring a timely halt to the deteriorating conditions on all sides all over the country."[64] Tatmadaw troops went through cities throughout Burma, indiscriminately firing on protestors.[65]

Although an exact body count has not been determined as bodies were often cremated, it is estimated that within the first week of securing power, 1,000 students, monks, and schoolchildren were killed, and another 500 were killed whilst protesting outside the United States embassy[45] – footage caught by a cameraman nearby who distributed the footage to the world's media.[66] Maung described the dead as "looters".[66] Protestors were also pursued into the jungle and some students took up training on the country's borders with Thailand.[59]

By the end of September, there were around 3,000 estimated deaths and unknown number of injured,[59] with 1,000 deaths in Rangoon alone.[65] At this point in time, Aung San Suu Kyi appealed for help.[55] On 21 September, the government had regained control of the country,[65] with the movement effectively collapsing in October.[55] By the end of 1988, it was estimated that 10,000 people – including protesters and soldiers, had been killed. Many others were missing.[5]


Continuous anniversary observances of the 1988 uprising take place around the world.

Many in Burma believed that the regime would have collapsed had the United Nations and neighbouring countries refused recognition to the coup.[67] Western governments and Japan cut aid to the country.[66] Among Burma's neighbours, India was most critical; condemning the suppression, closing borders and setting up refugee camps along its border with Burma.[68] By 1989, 6,000 NLD supporters were detained in custody and those who fled to the ethnic border areas, such as Kawthoolei, formed groups with those who wished for greater self-determination.[69] It was estimated 10,000 had fled to mountains controlled by ethnic insurgents such as the Karen National Liberation Army, and many later trained to become soldiers.[70][71]

After the uprising, the SLORC embarked on "clumsy propaganda" towards those who organised the protests.[72] Intelligence Chief Khin Nyunt, gave English-language press conferences aimed at providing an account favourable to the SLORC towards foreign diplomats and media.[72][73] The Burmese media underwent further restriction during this period, after reporting relatively freely at the peak of the protests. In the conferences, he detailed a conspiracy of the right acting with "subversive foreigners" of plotting to overthrow the regime and a conspiracy of the left acting to overthrow the State.[72] Despite the conferences, few believed the government's theory.[72] While these conferences were ongoing, the SLORC was secretly negotiating with mutineers.[73]

Between 1988 and 2000, the Burmese government established 20 museums detailing the military's central role throughout Burma's history and increased its numbers from 180,000 to 400,000.[55] Schools and universities remained closed to prevent any further uprisings.[55] Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo and Aung Gyi initially publicly rejected the SLORC's offer to hold elections the following year, claiming that they could not be held freely under military rule.[74][75]


Today, the uprising is remembered and honoured by Burmese expatriates and citizens alike. There is also support for the movement amongst students in Thailand, which is commemorated every 8 August since.[76] On the 20th anniversary of the uprising, 48 activists in Burma were arrested for commemorating the event.[77] The event garnered much support for the Burmese people internationally. Poems were written by students who participated in the protests. The 1995 film Beyond Rangoon is based on a true story that took place during the uprising.

The uprising led to the death and imprisonment of thousands of individuals. Many of the deaths were inside the prisons, where prisoners of conscience were subjected to inhumane torture and deprived of basic provisions, such as food, water, medicine, and sanitation. From 1988 up until 2012, the military and police illegally detained and imprisoned tens of thousands of democracy leaders, as well as intellectuals, artists, students, and human rights activists. Pyone Cho, one of the leaders of the uprising, spent 20 years of his adult life in prison. Ko Ko Gyi, another leader of the uprising, spent 18 years of his life in prison. Min Ko Naing was placed in solitary confinement for nine years for his role as a leader of the uprising.[78] Because the uprising began as a student movement, many of the individuals targeted, tortured, and killed by the police and military were high school and university students.

Many of the student leaders of the uprising became lifelong activists and human rights leaders. Many of the same activists played a role 19 years later during the 2007 Saffron Revolution. The 88 Generation Students Group, named for the events of 8 August 1988, organised one of the first protests that eventually culminated in the Saffron Revolution. They were arrested, however, prior to large-scale demonstrations and given lengthy prison sentences of up to 65 years. Included in these arrests are prominent figures such as Min Ko Naing, Mya Aye, Htay Kywe, Mie Mie, Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho, Min Zeyar, Ant Bwe Kyaw, and Nilar Thein.[79] Though not an 88 Generation Students Group member, a solo protester Ohn Than also joined the demonstration.[80] All of them were released in a general amnesty in 2012. They continue to work as politicians and human rights activists in Myanmar. They also campaigned for the National League for Democracy in the 2015 Elections. Pyone Cho, one of the main leaders of the 88 Generation, was elected to the House of Representatives in the 2015 Election.

See also


  1. ^ Neeraj Gautam (2009). Buddha, his life & teachings. Mahavir & Sons Publisher. ISBN 81-8377-247-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Fong (2008), pp. 149
  3. ^ a b c d e Ferrara (2003), pp. 313
  4. ^ a b c Fogarty, Phillipa (7 August 2008). Was Burma's 1988 uprising worth it? Archived 12 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. BBC News.
  5. ^ a b c d Wintle (2007)
  6. ^ a b c Yawnghwe (1995), pp. 170
  7. ^ Ferrara 302–3
  8. ^ "Hunger for food, leadership sparked Burma riots". Houston Chronicle. 11 August 1988.
  9. ^ Tweedie, Penny. (2008). Junta oppression remembered Archived 2 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters.
  10. ^ a b Burma Watcher (1989)
  11. ^ *Tallentire, Mark (28 September 2007). The Burma road to ruin Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. The Guardian.
  12. ^ a b Woodsome, Kate. (7 October 2007). 'Burmese Way to Socialism' Drives Country into Poverty. Voice of America.
  13. ^ a b Steinberg (2002)
  14. ^ Aung-Thwin, Maureen. (1989). Burmese Days Archived 23 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Foreign Affairs.
  15. ^ Ottawa Citizen. 24 September 1988. pg. A.16
  16. ^ Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. 26 September 1988.
  17. ^ Wintle, p. 338.
  18. ^ Lintner (1989), pp. 94–95.
  19. ^ a b Boudreau (2004), pp. 192
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Tucker (2001), pp. 228
  21. ^ Fong (2008), pp. 146
  22. ^ Lwin (1992)
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Boudreau (2004), pp. 193
  24. ^ Lintner (1989), pp. 95–97.
  25. ^ Yitri (1989)
  26. ^ a b c d Yawnghwe (1995), pp. 171
  27. ^ Fong (2008), pp. 147
  28. ^ Smith (1999), pp. 1–14
  29. ^ Fong (2008) pp. 147–148.
  30. ^ Fink (2001), pp. 51
  31. ^ a b c Fong (2008), pp. 148
  32. ^ a b Smith (1999)
  33. ^ Fong (2008). In 1962, Lwin had ordered troops to fire on student protestors, killing dozens, and ordered the Union Building at Rangoon University to be blown up.
  34. ^ a b c d Boudreau (2004), pp. 202
  35. ^ Lintner (1989), pp. 126
  36. ^ Lintner (1989)
  37. ^ a b c d e Boudreau (2004), pp. 203
  38. ^ Boudreau (2004) Two groups considered to have large underground and internal support networks
  39. ^ a b c Ghosh (2001)
  40. ^ a b c Mydans, Seth. (12 August 1988). Uprising in Burma: The Old Regime Under Siege. The New York Times.
  41. ^ Williams Jr., Nick. (10 August 1988). "36 Killed in Burma Protests of Military Rule." Los Angeles Times.
  42. ^ a b c Boudreau (2004), pp. 205
  43. ^ Callahan (2001)
  44. ^ a b Boudreau (2004), pp. 204
  45. ^ a b Burma Watcher (1989), pp. 179.
  46. ^ The Vancouver Sun 17 August 1988. pg. A.5
  47. ^ Fink (2001)
  48. ^ Fink (2001), pp. 58
  49. ^ a b c d Fong (2008), pp. 150
  50. ^ a b Boudreau (2004), pp. 208
  51. ^ Clements (1992)
  52. ^ Smith (1999), pp. 9
  53. ^ Silverstein (1996)
  54. ^ Fink (2001), pp. 60
  55. ^ a b c d e f Tucker (2001), pp. 229.
  56. ^ Boudreau (2004), pp. 212.
  57. ^ Callahan (1999), pp. 1.
  58. ^ United States State Department, 1988
  59. ^ a b c Boudreau (2004), pp. 210.
  60. ^ Maung (1999)
  61. ^ Yeni. "Twenty Years of Marking Time". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  62. ^ Kyi May Kaung (8 August 2008). "Burma: waiting for the dawn". Open Democracy. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  63. ^ Delang (2000)
  64. ^ Ferrara (2003), pp. 313–4.
  65. ^ a b c Ferrara (2003), pp. 314.
  66. ^ a b c Fong (2008), pp. 151
  67. ^ Yawnghwe (1995), pp. 172.
  68. ^ Europa Publications Staff (2002), pp. 872
  69. ^ Fong (2008), pp.152.
  70. ^ Smith (1999), pp. 371.
  71. ^ Smith (1999), pp. 17.
  72. ^ a b c d Boudreau (2004), pp. 190
  73. ^ a b Lintner (1990), pp. 52
  74. ^ Mydans, Seth. (23 September 1988). Burma Crackdown: Army in Charge. The New York Times.
  75. ^ Thein, Seinenu. "Heroes of Democracy: Burma's 88 Generation and the Legacy of Mandela". Psychocultural Cinema. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  76. ^ The Nation. (9 August 1997). Burmese exiles mark protest. The Nation (Thailand).
  77. ^ *Tun, Aung Hla. (8 August 2008). Myanmar arrests "8-8-88" anniversary marchers Archived 8 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. International Herald Tribune.
  78. ^ Moe, K Z (21 January 2012). "The last night in the cell". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  79. ^ Jonathan Head (11 November 2008). "Harsh sentences for Burma rebels". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  80. ^ "A former political prisoner was arrested for protesting alone in front of the United Nations office in Rangoon". Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. 23 September 2004. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.


Books and journals

  • Boudreau, Vincent. (2004). Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83989-1.
  • Burma Watcher. (1989). Burma in 1988: There Came a Whirlwind. Asian Survey, 29(2). A Survey of Asia in 1988: Part II pp. 174–180.
  • Callahan, Mary. (1999). Civil-military relations in Burma: Soldiers as state-builders in the postcolonial era. Preparation for the State and the Soldier in Asia Conference.
  • Callahan, Mary. (2001). Burma: Soldiers as State Builders. ch. 17. cited in Alagappa, Muthiah. (2001). Coercion and Governance: The Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4227-6
  • Clements, Ann. (1992). Burma: The Next Killing Fields? Odonian Press. ISBN 978-1-878825-21-6
  • Delang, Claudio. (2000). Suffering in Silence, the Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People of Burma. Parkland: Universal Press.
  • Europa Publications Staff. (2002). The Far East and Australasia 2003. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85743-133-9.
  • Ferrara, Federico. (2003). Why Regimes Create Disorder: Hobbes's Dilemma during a Rangoon Summer. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 47(3), pp. 302–325.
  • Fink, Christina. (2001). Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-85649-926-2
  • Fong, Jack. (2008). Revolution as Development: The Karen Self-determination Struggle Against Ethnocracy (1949–2004). Boca Raton, FL:BrownWalker Press. ISBN 978-1-59942-994-6
  • Ghosh, Amitav. (2001). The Kenyon Review, New Series. Cultures of Creativity: The Centennial Celebration of the Nobel Prizes. 23(2), pp. 158–165.
  • Hlaing, Kyaw Yin. (1996). Skirting the regime's rules.
  • Lintner, Bertil. (1989). Outrage: Burma's Struggle for Democracy. Hong Kong: Review Publishing Co.
  • Lintner, Bertil. (1990). The Rise and Fall of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). SEAP Publications. ISBN 978-0-87727-123-9.
  • Lwin, Nyi Nyi. (1992). Refugee Student Interviews. A Burma-India Situation Report.
  • Maung, Maung. (1999). The 1988 Uprising in Burma. Yale University Southeast Asia Studies. ISBN 978-0-938692-71-3
  • Silverstein, Josef. (1996). The Idea of Freedom in Burma and the Political Thought of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Pacific Affairs, 69(2), pp. 211–228.
  • Smith, Martin. (1999). Burma – Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-85649-660-5
  • Steinberg, David. (2002). Burma: State of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 978-0-87840-893-1
  • Tucker, Shelby. (2001). Burma: The Curse of Independence. Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-1541-6
  • Wintle, Justin. (2007). Perfect Hostage: a life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s prisoner of conscience. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-0-09-179681-5
  • Yawnghwe, Chao-Tzang. Burma: Depoliticization of the Political. cited in Alagappa, Muthiah. (1995). Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia: The Quest for Moral Authority. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2560-6
  • Yitri, Moksha. (1989). The Crisis in Burma: Back from the Heart of Darkness? University of California Press.

Further reading

External links


8888 may refer to:

8888 Uprising, a nationwide protest in Myanmar in August 1988

8888 (Philippines), a national public service hotline

8888 Keystone Crossing, a building in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.

BS 8888, a British Standard

CONOP 8888, a zombie defence training document

CSX 8888 incident, an incident in 2001 involving American locomotive #8888

88 Generation Students Group

The 88 Generation Students (Burmese: ၈၈ မျိုးဆက် ကျောင်းသားများ) is a Burmese pro-democracy movement known for their activism against the country's military junta. Many of its members were imprisoned by the Burmese government on charges of "illegally using electronic media" and "forming an illegal organisation". A number of Western governments and human rights organisations called for the release of group members on the grounds that they were political prisoners.

Aung Soe Myint

Aung Soe Myint (Burmese: အောင်ိစုးမြင့်) is a Burmese politician and political prisoner, previously served as a Pyithu Hluttaw MP for Taungoo Township. He was elected as an Pyithu Hluttaw MP in the Burmese general election, 1990, winning a 68% majority (21,369 votes), but was never allowed to assume his seat.Aung Soe Myint graduated from the Rangoon Institute of Economics in 1975. He became involved in politics during the 8888 Uprising, serving as a member of the Central General Strike Committee of the Taungoo District People’s Liberation Alliance.From 31 August 2003 to 23 September 2008, he served a stint at Thayet prison, for purportedly possessing a motorcycle without a license. In fact, he had organized events for the 15th anniversary of the 8888 Uprising. He was released in September 2008, as part of a government amnesty involving the release of 9,002 prisoners.

Aung Zaw (editor)

Aung Zaw, (ca. 1968), is a Burmese journalist, editor, and founder of major publishing media The Irrawaddy. He was jailed and tortured at the age of 20, then covertly escaped his home country after he began protesting the governments socialist military regime during the 8888 Uprising. His news magazine reported on event later during the Saffron Revolution.

Beyond Rangoon

Beyond Rangoon is a 1995 drama film directed by John Boorman about Laura Bowman (played by Patricia Arquette), an American tourist who vacations in Burma (Myanmar) in 1988, the year in which the 8888 Uprising takes place. The film was mostly filmed in Malaysia, and, though a work of fiction, was inspired by real people and real events.

Bowman joins, albeit initially unintentionally, political rallies with university students protesting for democracy, and travels with the student leader U Aung Ko throughout Burma. There, they see the brutality of the military dictators of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), and attempt to escape to Thailand.

The film was an official selection at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

The film may have had an impact beyond movie screens, however. Only weeks into its European run, the Burmese military junta freed Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi (depicted in the film) after several years under strict house arrest. The celebrated democracy leader thanked the filmmakers in her first interview with the BBC. Suu Kyi was re-arrested a few years later, but Beyond Rangoon had already helped raise world attention on a previously "invisible" tragedy: the massacres of 1988 and the cruelty of her country's military rulers.

Beyond Rangoon (soundtrack)

Beyond Rangoon is an original soundtrack album written by the German composer Hans Zimmer. The film Beyond Rangoon and the album were released in 1995. It features the nature of the Burmese background during and after the 8888 Uprising in Burma. In this ethnic tropes music, Hans Zimmer highlights on South-East Asia tradition where he employs pipes, wood flutes, and native rhythms with vivid effects to demonstrate the character of the students' strike in 1988, Burma and their fleeing Rangoon after martial law imposed.

Democratic Party for a New Society

The Democratic Party for a New Society (Burmese: လူ့ဘောင်သစ်ဒီမိုကရက်တစ်ပါတီ; abbreviated DPNS) is a registered political party in Myanmar (Burma), founded in 1988 by Moe Thee Zun, the then Secretary General of the All Burma Students League (ABSL). The party campaigns independently from other parties and is unaffiliated with the more influential National League for Democracy (NLD), despite sharing similar goals.

Htilin Monastery

Htilin Monastery (Burmese: ထီးလင်းဘုန်းကြီးကျောင်း) is a Buddhist monastery in Mandalay, Burma. It is located in Western Thiri Khema Ward in Chanayethazan Township. The monastery is divided into several hermitages by geographical location such as West Htilin Monastery, South Htilin Monastery etc. During the 8888 Uprising several Htilin monks were killed. Earlier in 1988, in February, the monastery was responsible for founding a new ritual at Mahamuni Buddha Temple involving face washing the sacred Buddha statue.

Khin Ohmar

Khin Ohmar (Burmese: ခင်ဥမ္မာ, pronounced [kʰɪ̀ɴ ʔòʊɴmà]) is a Burmese democracy activist noted for her leadership in the 8888 Uprising and her work with the Women's League of Burma and the Burma Partnership.

Khin Ohmar was a senior student at Rangoon Arts and Science University studying chemistry when the events leading up to the 1988 anti-government protests began. She was twenty years old. On 5 September 1987, military ruler Ne Win announced the withdrawal of the newly replaced currency notes, 100, 75, 35 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. Many Burmese people thus lost their savings overnight. Students, who often had savings for their tuition, were particularly affected. The next day, Khin Ohmar joined 20 other students in writing a letter to Ne Win protesting the move, which they forwarded through their university chancellor. The 21 signatories were arrested and held until Burma Union Day, 12 February 1988.According to her 1995 testimony to a US Senate sub-committee, she then joined a 16 March student rally protesting the death of student activist Phone Maw, which was violently suppressed by riot police; she escaped when a Japanese diplomat gave her and other protesters shelter in his home. On 18 March, the universities were closed. She continued to help coordinate protests and international media coverage until the climactic rally of 8 August 1988, from which the "8888 Uprising" takes its name.Following the further suppression of pro-democracy protests by the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Burma's military government, she traveled to the Thai-Burmese border to join the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF), a revolutionary army. Political differences and alleged leadership failures in the ABSDF leadership eventually caused Khin Ohmar to leave the group, and she subsequently lived in the United States for at least five years.As of August 2007, she was active in the Burmese Women's Union, the Women's League of Burma and the Network for Democracy and Development.On October 25, 2009, she was "kicked out" of an Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit on human rights, later charging that the organization was ineffective on Burmese human rights and "afraid to hear from civil society". In April 2011, she called on the first US Ambassador to Asean, David Lee Carden, to "[stand] firmly on democracy and human rights for Burma".

Kyaw Min Yu

Kyaw Min Yu (Burmese: ကျော်မင်းယု, also known as Ko Jimmy) is a former Burmese political prisoner and a member of the 88 Generation Students Group. He was released from prison on 13 January 2012, after spending 5 years in prison, for protesting fuel price hikes with the 88 Generation Students Group in August 2007. He also spent 15 years, from 1988 to 1996, in prison for participating in the 8888 Uprising.

Myanmar at the Paralympics

Myanmar has been a sporadic participant in the Paralympic Games. It first competed, as Burma, at the 1976 Summer Paralympics in Toronto, with a delegation in track and field and shooting. These athletes were fairly successful, Tin Ngwe becoming Burma's first Paralympic champion by winning the men's 100m sprint in the C1 category. Aung Than won silver in the same event, while Tin Win took bronze in the men's 100m in category C. Burma was absent from the 1980 Games, returning in 1984 to take part in volleyball and track and field. Tin Ngwe, in category A3, won gold in the men's high jump, and silver in the long jump, while Aung Gyi won silver and bronze, respectively, in those same two events. In both Burma's appearances in the Paralympics, it fielded all-male delegations.Following the 8888 Uprising in August 1988, and the military coup which established the State Peace and Development Council in September, Burma was absent from the 1988 Summer Paralympics, held in October. The country's name was officially changed to Myanmar. As it also changed its IPC country code from BIR to MYA and the International Paralympic Committee being established only in 1989, the International Paralympic Committee maintains separate records for "Burma" and "Myanmar".

Myanmar, as such, made its Paralympic début at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona. Myanmar's delegation to the Barcelona Games consisted in a single athlete (Kyaw Khaing) to compete in sprinting. He finished last in both his races. The country was then absent for three consecutive editions of the Summer Paralympics, before returning to the Paralympics in 2008, with a male competitor in javelin (Win Naing), and two male swimmers (Naing Sit Aung and Win San Aung). They all ranked low in their respective events. "Myanmar" has thus fielded smaller, less successful delegations than "Burma".Although "Burma" had won a total of seven medals (two gold, three silver, two bronze), no athlete has ever won a Paralympic medal for "Myanmar". The country has never taken part in the Winter Paralympics, in either form.

Nilar Thein

Nilar Thein (Burmese: နီလာသိန်း, pronounced [nìlà θéiɴ]) is a Burmese democracy activist and political prisoner imprisoned from 2008 to 2012 at Thayet prison in Burma's Magway Region. Amnesty International considered her a prisoner of conscience.

Ohn Than

Ohn Than (Burmese: အုန်းသန်း, pronounced [ʔóʊɴ θáɴ]; commonly written U Ohn Than, following Burmese honorific conventions; born 1946) is a Burmese democracy activist who received international attention for his "stoic one-man protests". He spent the majority of the years from 1988 to 2012 imprisoned, and Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience.

People Power (disambiguation)

"People power" is a political term.

People power or People Power may refer to:

People Power Revolution, the Philippine Revolution of 1986

8888 Uprising in Myanmar, also known as the People Power Uprising in 1988

A number of political parties in several countries, see People Power Party (disambiguation)

People Power Company (or People Power), an American technology

People & Power, a current affairs TV programme on Al Jazeera English

People Power Monument, Quezon City, Philippines

Prime Minister of Myanmar

The Prime Minister of Myanmar was the head of government of Myanmar (also known as Burma) from 1948 to 2011.

Pyone Cho

Pyone Cho (Burmese: ပြုံးချို); born Htay Win Aung; born 2 April 1966) is a Burmese politician and former political prisoner, currently serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Representatives for Dawbon Township. He is an internationally recognized human rights activist and former student leader of the 8888 Uprising in Myanmar.

Soe Myint

Thakin Soe Myint (Burmese: သခင် စိုးမြင့်) was a Burmese politician and a leader of the National League for Democracy. Born in the Irrawaddy delta region in 1923, he first entered politics by joining the Dobama Asiayone branch at Myaungmya Township. He was a member of several political parties, including the People's Revolutionary Party, Myaungmya District Socialist Party, Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League, Socialist Party and People's Youth League. Most recently, he served as a member of the National League for Democracy's Central Executive Committee, joining in 1988, during the 8888 Uprising.He died at his home in Yangon's South Okkalapa Township on 20 May 2010, of a heart attack. Soe Myint was cremated at Yangon's Yayway Cemetery on 22 May 2010.

The Irrawaddy

The Irrawaddy (Burmese: ဧရာဝတီ; MLCTS: ei: ra wa. ti) is a website by the Irrawaddy Publishing Group (IPG), founded in 1990 by Burmese exiles living in Thailand. From its inception, The Irrawaddy has taken an independent stance on Burmese politics. As a publication produced by former Burmese activists who fled violent crackdowns on anti-military protests in 1988, it has always been closely associated with the pro-democracy movement, although it remains unaffiliated with any of the political groups that have emerged since the 8888 Uprising.

The Irrawaddy is published in both English and Burmese, with a primary focus on Burma and Southeast Asia. It is regarded as one of the foremost journalistic publications dealing with political, social, economic and cultural developments in Burma. In addition to news, it features in-depth political analysis and interviews with a wide range of Burma experts, business leaders, democracy activists and other influential figures.

Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors

The Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (Burmese: မြန်မာ ကျောင်းသား စစ်သည်တော်များ အဖွဲ့; abbreviated VBSW) were an armed opposition group in Myanmar (Burma). It was formed by students after the 8888 uprising, in opposition to the ruling military junta at the time.The group was labeled (but not officially listed as) a terrorist organisation by the Burmese government, after they gained notoriety by raiding and holding hostages at the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand in October 1999.

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