» 08/09/2012, 00.00
Thousands of Burmese - and government - celebrate 24th anniversary of Generation 88
For the first time the government has authorized the rally, with a minimum contribution by supporting the organization. In the past, the military regime had always banned public demonstrations to commemorate the uprising of 8 August 1988. Spokesman Thein Sein: This date is a "historical event" for the country. Burmese Activist: a step "toward reform."
Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of Burmese yesterday
celebrated the 24th anniversary of pro-democracy protests and, for the first
time, the central government granted its approval and financial support to the
unimaginable event until a few years ago, when the military regime in Naypyidaw
repressed by force any manifestation of dissent or public gatherings, then the
people had to commemorate the day with private moments, hidden away from
security officials and soldiers, for fear of being arrested. Activists
and former political prisoners joined those who marched through the streets of
Yangon, Mandalay and other cities in Myanmar to
remember the day 8-8-88, which marked the beginning of a week of pro-democracy protests
repressed by the dictatorship and the army, with a final toll of thousands of
recent days President Thein Sein - who since the beginning of its mandate has changed
the political life of Burma,
promoting economic and social reforms - asked two government ministers to meet
the organizers of yesterday's events. As
reported by Ko Ko Gyi, one of the promoters of the day, the central government granted
permission for street demonstrations and allocated one million kyat (about 1,200
US dollars) for the organization. "It's
as if [the government] took part in the commemoration," said the activist,
adding that this "is a step toward reform."
Zin Latt, spokesman for the president of Burma, said that the government
recognizes the anniversary, as a "historic event" and Thein Sein
wants to show once again their "good will" on the path of national
pro-human rights groups point out that still today the Burmese jails hold an
unknown number of political prisoners. Among
the issues that the reformist government is called upon to solve, is also the
question of ethnic minorities. Among
these, the conflict with the Kachin in the north and the tragedy of the Rohingya
Muslim minority, who do not enjoy the right to citizenship and are victims of
88" stands for the student movement that, in August 1988, launched a
series of events to promote democracy and human rights in Myanmar. The
demonstrations, suppressed by the military dictatorship left at least 3
thousand people dead and 10 thousand students forced into exile. And
it was the aftermath of the revolt that the Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi emerged as the main icon and member of the Democratic movement opposing the
group of young activists of "Generation 88" were also involved in the
massive protests that erupted in August 2007, against the military regime's
decision to raise fuel prices, which then led to a genuine popular uprising ,
led by monks in the country, violently repressed by the army.
military dictatorship remained in power until 2010, replaced by a Parliament
voted in November 2010 and a semi-civilian government formed in April 2011.
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