Friday, 13 December 2019

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Demonstrations around the world remember “8888” protests

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – From Manila to Bangkok to London, demonstrators rallied to remember Burma’s roar of protest in 1988 before it was crushed in a wave of killings.

Exiled Burmese and supporters came together to remember the 23rd anniversary of the August 8, 1988 uprising—known as “8888”—against the military government of General Ne Win and to continue a call for full democracy and respect for human rights in Burma.

In Manila, which experienced its own “People’s Power” uprising in 1986, demonstrators rallied outside the Department of Foreign Affairs, erecting mocked barbed wire to symbolize the continuing repression in Burma, according to media reports. Unlike Filipinos’ successful ousting of the Marcos regime, however, Rangoon saw repression and the deaths of an estimated 3,000 protestors.

Together with pro-democracy groups around the world, the protestors expressed support for the ongoing international campaign to establish a United Nations-led Commission of Inquiry to investigate Burma's crimes against humanity. They also denounced the military regime’s continued political repression and gross human rights abuses despite having a new Parliament after Burma's controversial elections in 2010.

In Bangkok and New Delhi, protestors marked the day with demonstrations and denouncements of continued human rights abuse and the detention of political prisoners, according to media reports.

In London, about 100 people demonstrated outside the German embassy in protest against the German government’s opposition to a proposal for a UN Commission of Inquiry, according to the Burma Campaign UK.

“The German government is protecting rapists and war criminals in Burma,” said Zoya Phan of the Burma Campaign UK. “A UN Inquiry could help reduce abuses in Burma, but Germany opposes it because it puts business before human rights.  The price is likely to be paid by ethnic minority women being raped, and by political prisoners still in jail.”

The campaign reported that actions also took place in Germany and at German Embassies in Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Ireland and Norway.
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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