London, UK: A concatenation of demonstrations in commemoration of what is known as “8888 Uprising” is set to take place in London, UK tomorrow, 8th of August. The events will mark the 20th anniversary of Burma’s national revolution demanding democracy in 1988.
Friday’s programmes include an opening ceremony at Peace Garden in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum to unveil a glass monument to political prisoners in Burma, which will be followed by a demonstration in front of the Burmese embassy, calling for the release of Burma’s political prisoners.
“Our focus would be on political prisoners in Burma, and linking that as a crucial benchmark for progress by the UN initiative. We need to focus our efforts on where we can make a real difference, and the situation of political prisoners is getting increasingly worse. We strongly believe we must do what we can to help them, and BCUK will devote its resources on this day to doing what it can to make sure the situation of political prisoners gets the attention it deserves, “said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK.
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London will host a photo exhibition on political prisoners in Burma. Another demonstration is organised to happen at the Chinese embassy in a protest against the Beijing Olympics, which opens coincidentally on 8th of August.
“Unfortunately, despite what we all agreed, some people have decided to go ahead with a demonstration at the Chinese embassy. In our opinion this is a mistake, it takes away our focus from political prisoners, and we can’t see how it will have any impact on China. Any message we might want to get out about Burma will be completely lost,” added Mark Farmaner of BCUK which is not supporting, promoting and attending the demonstration at the Chinese embassy.
A ‘Bike Ride for Burma’ event is organised this Saturday, 9th of August by a London-based coalition of Burmese students and exiled activists, commemorating the ‘8888 Uprising’, and showing solidarity and support for the citizens of Burma.
In Edinburgh, Scotland, crowds of people will be holding up a giant saffron ribbon as a demonstration to mark the 8.8.1988 Burmese uprising which will be followed by a special gala performance of The Burma Play, starting a minute’s silence.
Today there are more than 2,000 political prisoners in Burma, many subjected to brutal torture and denied medical care, according to Burma Campaign UK.
The 8888 uprising began in Yangon, the former capital of Burma, led by University students which suddenly spread throughout the country. Thousands, mostly Buddhist monks, students and civilians were slaughtered by the then SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council). Burma has been ruled by the brutal, repressive and isolated regime since the military coup in 1962.
Van Biak Thang
07 August, 2008