Myanmar protesters mark 1988 uprising anniversary

Flash mobs seek ouster of junta govt. in Yangon, Mandalay

Published - August 08, 2021 09:54 pm IST - Yangon

Mounting challenge:  Anti-coup protesters march on the anniversary of the1988 uprising in Mandalay.

Mounting challenge: Anti-coup protesters march on the anniversary of the1988 uprising in Mandalay.

Myanmar protesters on Sunday marked the anniversary of a 1988 pro-democracy uprising that brought Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence, with flash mobs and marches of defiance against the ruling junta.

The country has been in turmoil since the generals launched their February putsch and subsequent crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 900 people, according to a local monitoring group.

But protesters remain undeterred, taking to the streets daily in lightning-quick rallies to demand the end to the State Administration Council — as the junta’s so-called “caretaker” government has dubbed itself.

On Sunday, flash mobs popped up across Yangon and second city Mandalay to commemorate the 1988 uprising — a pro-democracy movement which the military violently quelled by opening fire on protesters and jailing thousands.

Following the calls of an online campaign, red-clad protesters on Sunday flashed an eight-finger salute and carried banners that read “Let’s return the old blood debt of 1988 in 2021.”

“In 1988, our country sacrificed a lot — many people lost their lives. But the dictatorship is still alive,” said Ko Sai Win, in Mandalay.

“It is like a black shadow on our country.”

The 1988 uprising heralded the rise of Ms. Suu Kyi, who had returned to Myanmar just before protests kicked off to care for her ailing mother.

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