Shan State Residents Reflect on 1988 Pro-Democracy
Movement 1

‘We protected our people,’ remembers one protester from Mongpan.

Thirty-one years after people throughout Burma took to the streets to demand an end to military rule, those who once protested in Shan State remember how the movement took hold in the region.

A commemoration of “8-8-88” last Thursday in the state capital of Taunggyi involved offerings to monks at Min Monastery in the morning, and a march downtown at 7:15 a.m. to a photo exhibition in the General Park.

Lon Kyaw Maung joined the protests in 1988 in southern Shan State against Gen Ne Win’s military regime.

“At that time, we had to take care of our local people in Mongpan. We protected our people,” Lon Kyaw Maung said. “People have yet to get 100 percent victory,” he added of the present day. “We need to keep trying for it. Our young generation must continue to work for it.”

Shan State Residents Reflect on 1988 Pro-Democracy
Movement 2

One high school student told SHAN that all he knew about the famed 8-8-88 movement was that it was student-led, but that it inspired the public to join.

“Nobody talks about the ‘8888’ uprising in our school. Students only know a few things about the movement. We should know the true history of it,” Maung Okker Myo Win said after participating in the commemoration in Taunggyi.

Thousands of people were shot in the streets as protests calling for an end to military rule spread across Burma in August of 1988. Students, monks, political organizations, activists, and ethnic communities participated in the movement.

Photo by – SHAN/ Commemoration of “8-8-88” Taunggyi