02 August 2008
The popular 1988 uprising will be 20 years old this August. The Burmese people have not yet enjoyed the benefits of democracy though they marched through a hail of bullets armed with their resolute will to achieve democracy.
The departed souls of those who were killed on the streets while they were protesting peacefully are still drifting nowhere. Some forgetful people pretend to be saviours and are saying, "This is not good, do as I say".
Anyway the '8888 uprising' was not in vain. It highlighted the injustices existing and showed the real way out and ensured the end of 'evil'. We cannot blame anybody for not achieving victory even after 20 years. It is of great pride and glory to see the flame of the 8888 spirit still burning brightly.
The strong vitality of this spirit, under repeated attempts to extinguish it with loaded guns and bayonets is the victory of 'good'. The perpetrators wished this spirit to die but they failed.
The people were fed up and began despising the one-party dictatorial rule under the banner of the then 'Burma Socialist Programme Party' (BSPP) after suffering for a long time. The people followed the leadership of daring students and youths and expressed their will and desire until the uprising reached its climax on 8th August 1988. The ruling party BSPP finally collapsed despite its monopolistic power and backing by the junta. It is not a spontaneous development, achieved only after a lot of sacrifices by the students and people.
After that, free and fair general elections were held in May 1990 for the first time in modern Burmese history. The Burmese people got the chance of exposure to the outside world to some extent from a totally isolated situation where they were blindfolded and gagged. The current developments are the fruits of the 8888 uprising. Human history would not have developed to this stage if everyone thought, "Nothing will be achieved even if I do it", the indifferent thinking.
There are many challenges ahead. But we should not forget there will always be opportunities to cope with all these challenges by seeing the exemplary role of the 8888 uprising.