New Delhi -- In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Burma's historic student uprising, Burmese activists along with Indian supporters began an awareness campaign at universities and colleges in India's capital city, New Delhi, on Wednesday.
The campaign aims to spread awareness among young Indian university students about how students in Burma led the pro-democracy uprising in 1988, said Dr. Achan Mungleng, an Indian activist and one of the organizers of the campaign.
"It is to increase awareness about Burma and let them [the students] see that [learn what happened then] and it is a backup Programme of the 8.8.88 incident, where thousand of students were killed," said Mungleng.
In 1988, students of Rangoon University led an uprising that shook the nation. At that time Burma was ruled by a one party dictator, Gen Newin, who assumed power following a military coup in 1962. Newin brutally crushed the protests, killing at least 3000 students, monks and civilians. The junta arrested thousands of activists and forced many more to flee to neighbouring countries including India.
Dr Mungleng said, she, along with other Burmese activists, will go around university and college campuses and distribute a special pamphlet that highlights the background of the August 8, 1988 uprising, popularly known as 8.8.88. The pamphlet also focuses on the situation in Burma 20 years later.
This campaign will be followed by a larger programme to be organized by Burma's pro-democracy activists and Indian supporters like her on the August 8, 2008, she added.
In remembrance of and as an honour to students, monks and civilians involved in the struggle against brutal military dictators of Burma the activists will be conducting a conference; a photo exhibition of protests in September last year and the recent devastation by Cyclone Nargis, and a candle light vigil at India Gate.
Meanwhile, Burmese activists and supporters around the world are also planning to observe August 8 as a day for Global Justice for Burma, with planned activities across the globe.
The events will be jointly organized by the Global Justice Center, the International Burmese Monks Organization, Serene Communications, U.S. Campaign for Burma, the 88 Generation Students of Burma and others.
According to the organizers, the day will be marked by protests against the Beijing Olympics' first day and against Chinese support to the Burmese military junta in the international arena.
Corrections and Clarifications
Mizzima, Friday Aug 1, 2008
In a news story ' Awareness campaign on Burma's August uprising in Delhi' (published yesterday July 31, 2008) , we misquoted the Global Justice for Burma, were it said "it is also aimed at protesting against the Beijing Olympics' first day for China's support on Burma's military junta."
However, Global Justice Center had made it clear that the B8 Global Justice for Burma events will not be critical of China. The mistake was a result of misunderstanding in the editorial department. We apologise for the error.