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‘Student army’ to join uprising’s anniversary ceremonies in Rangoon

Members from the All-Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) are planning to travel to Rangoon next month to attend the 25th anniversary of the 8888 uprising.

The commemoration of the nationwide uprisings and general strike that kicked off in 1988 will include exile activists and members of the rebel army for the first time.

The ABSDF’s spokesperson Sunny said the group was planning to stage a presentation about its 25 years of armed struggle along with a discussion about the group’s political objectives.

The spokesperson says that although the group has yet to achieve its key goals, including national reconciliation and the promulgation of a new constitution, the ABSDF remains committed to working toward their objectives amid the ongoing reform process in Burma.

“Changes happening today can be regarded as an inception – from here, we are working to create better opportunities to place the country on the right path to move forward,” said Sunny.

Students formed the ABSDF after a series of military engineered crackdowns killed more than 3,000 people during a general uprising against Ne Win’s dictatorship in 1988.

During its peak in the 1990s, the student army had thousands of regular members and waged a guerrilla campaign against government forces largely from the mountains of Karen and Kachin state.

The ABSDF has been linked with the ethnic resistant movements since its formation in 1988; however, the group has only fraction of the membership it once enjoyed in the early 1990s.

In May, ABSDF representatives held preliminary talks with government peace negotiators in Rangoon, where they discussed a potential ceasefire and commencing a political dialogue between Naypyidaw and the rebel group.


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