Citizens from all over the country celebrated the 24th anniversary of 8888 the August 1988 demonstration and protests rally. Participating in the rally is composed of well known former political prisoners and other important figures in politics. Rallies were held in Mandalay, Yangon and other areas of the country.
The government authorized the presence of protesters and disclosed that financial assistance was handed down in support for the activity. During the military rule, rallies and demonstrations were not allowed; the public don’t have the courage to express freedom because they know that if they do so, the authorities would take them into their custody or land in jail, Associated Press news reported.
Reforms implemented by President Thein Sein have received warm acceptance and recognition from all over the world. The President directed two Cabinet Ministers to notify the organizing committee that the government granted their appeal to conduct a rally and an amount of 1 million kyat ($1,200) in cash were given by the Ministers in support for their activity. These caught them by surprise with the actuations the government has initiated, as revealed by Ko Ko Gyi, a leader of the 1988 uprising who was jailed for many years.
Presidential spokesman Nay Zin Latt said that the government considered the anniversary as part of Myanmar’s history and stressed that welcoming the event is the President’s way of proving and showing his sincerity in supporting the nation’s goal of attaining countrywide reconciliation.
Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi was the frontliner during the protests together with her political party who joined in the elections in 1990 where they victoriously won but unfortunately the government did not recognized their will to seat into power, said news report from Associated Press.
This historic events bring them memory of the past picturing the challenges and hardships they have been through in the hands of the military junta. Many lives were lost for a justly cause. The 88 group was the symbol of the people’s cooperation. Though some of its members are still in prison while others are residing in foreign lands, they are one in spirit in commemorating the past life during those days, Ko Ko Gyi said.