Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This Day in History August 8, 1988

Burma has a history of colonialism and foreign power influence.  Burma was actually a British colony through the 1800's and on into the early 1900's.  Then WWII broke out, and the Japanese took over.  Then they became a proxy state of the USSR, and they were rules by a socialist government--something they detested almost as much as foreign rule. 

Uprisings had begun somewhat in March of 1988, but on this date in 1988 the 8888 uprisings began (so named because of the date 8/8/88).  A general strike and student protests began.  Of course, the government fought back and killed some.  Before long, many more joined the protest, and thousands descended on the capital--Rangoon.  

As the protests continued over the next three weeks, the government was not certain about how to proceed. Then Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the beloved independence leader Aung San made her appearance, and from what I can tell, she was put under house arrest where she continues to this date.  While the protest was recognized and celebrated 20 years later, unfortunately, there is still great political unrest.  

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