Activists commemorate 8888 despite restrictions

Aug 7, 2008 (DVB), Labour and youth activists have found ways to commemorate the events of 8 August 1988 in spite of tight security and the government's efforts to curb political activity.

U Min Maung of the Labour Union in Lower Burma said workers and activist had given an offering to monks to mark the 20th anniversary of the 8888 uprising.

"We offered a meal to 10 monks in a monastery in Kyeik Pon pagoda compound in Bago this morning to commemorate the martyrs , students and people , who were killed during the 88 uprising," he said yesterday.

He said the commemoration, which was held secretly due to the current security situation, was attended by 35 workers and 20 student activists.

A wreath dedicated to those who died was also laid on the ground at the site of the "blood-stained students’ monument" in Bago.

The monument was raised in front of High School (3) in Bago in memory of over 20 students and civilians who were gunned down by government troops on 6 August 1988, but was demolished after the SLORC government took power following the uprising.

Residents of Rangoon said that red paint had been seen on the wall by a drain near the Thida cinema in Alone township and on the gates of Alone High School (3).

Youth activist group Generation Wave said earlier this week that its members were planning a red paint campaign to commemorate those killed in the 8888 uprising and called on other students and young people to join in their activities.

The paint was quickly removed by municipal workers.

"It was a message reminding us to not forget about the 8888 uprising," said a Rangoon resident.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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