Myanmar Protestors Use Anniversary To Call For The End of Military Rule

Myanmar marked the 33rd anniversary of the “Four Eights” pro-democracy uprising on recently, with activists calling for the end of military rule.
Both urban and rural protests were held to commemorate the 1988 uprising, which began on August 8 of that year and was crushed by a bloody coup the following month.
The 188-day anniversary was marked with a renewed sense of urgency, with many activists linking the two events.
At several protests, placards and banners read, “Let’s complete the unfinished 8-8-88 people’s liberation movement.”.
Meanwhile, some signs bore starker messages.
One that harkened back to violence that led to nearly a quarter-century of brutal military rule read, “Blood shed in ’88 must be paid back in ’21.”
A decade ago, the military orchestrated a “transition” to quasi-civilian rule, leaving its power intact.
After the military seized control of the country on February 1, citing alleged irregularities in the 2013 election, the country was again plunged into crisis.
During that time, the newly installed regime has killed nearly a thousand civilians and arrested another 7,000 in an attempt to crush a massive popular resistance movement reminiscent of the one that arose in 1988.
Those who came out into the streets made it clear that they considered themselves heirs of that earlier struggle.
The General Strike Committee, a protest organizing coalition, said in a statement released ahead of protests that the current generation must learn from history and defeat the fascist military dictatorship once and for all.
Nyi Zaw, the president of the Yangon University Students’ Union, also noted that the current anti-coup movement is intergenerational.
The efforts of previous generations who fought against the military dictatorship are being carried forward by us. “Our generation has the responsibility now,” he told Myanmar Now.
In contrast, others called for unity among anti-regime forces, including people from different ethnicities, and emphasized the endurance of the resistance movement.
As Tayzar San, a prominent anti-coup activist from Mandalay, “Our public struggle and resilience over the past six months are the best evidence that we will prevail.”
On the occasion of the 1988 anniversary, one of the most prominent voices of the uprising condemned the military for acting in bad faith during past engagements with pro-democracy forces.
Min Ko Naing, a former student leader who spent nearly two decades in prison for opposing military rule, told Myanmar Now he did not think the younger generation would fall for the “lies” that kept the former regime in power for so long.
On February 1, all their lies were revealed, he said.
As hundreds of members of the Myanmar diaspora gathered in Washington, D.C., to call on the US to support the shadow National Unity Government, Min Ko Naing reflected on the international response to the crisis in Myanmar.
“Our people have fought in every round and won with a high score. Everyone knows that. However, it seems that we need to win by a knockout. Okay, then. “We’ll knock them out,” he said.

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