Democracy Summer

   (1988)
   A series of events between July and September 1988 that constitute the largest popular uprising in Burma's modern history. In her speech of August 26, 1988, at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called this uprising the "second struggle for national independence." Following the Burma Socialist Programme Party Extraordinary Congress, which convened on July 23 and resulted in Ne Win's retirement and the selection of Sein Lwin, the "Butcher of Rangoon" (for his role in the suppression of March and June demonstrations), as his successor, student activists led by Min Ko Naing proclaimed the Four Eights Movement of August 8, a general strike aimed at forcing Sein Lwin to resign. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary townspeople participated, in Rangoon (Yangon) and elsewhere. Sein Lwin stepped down on August 12, but only after hundreds of demonstrators had been killed or wounded by the Tatmadaw in Rangoon, Sagaing, and other cities.
   After the authorities lifted martial law on August 24, the army was withdrawn from Rangoon, and for a few weeks its citizens enjoyed unprecedented freedom. The media were not censored; "strike centers" were set up both in the capital and around the country (in 200 of 314 townships); and new political leaders, of whom the most important was Daw Suu Kyi, became prominent. After President Maung Maung promised on September 10 that multiparty elections would be held, Daw Suu Kyi, U Tin U, and Aung Gyi established a coalition calling for an interim government (it later became the National League for Democracy). But popular rage against suspected government informers, actions by regime agents provocateurs, and an economy in chaos contributed to an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. On September 18 the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) seized power, killing hundreds more demonstrators and shutting down Democracy Summer. The total number of fatalities from July to September 1988 is unknown, since the authorities made no effort to identify the dead or return the remains to their families. However, it is estimated to have been at least several thousand. Thousands more were held in prison or fled to neighboring countries.
   Although most of the events of Democracy Summer occurred in Rangoon, there were massive demonstrations in urban centers around the country. Mandalay was for a brief period governed by a committee of young monks, students, and workers. However, rural and ethnic minority areas were largely unaffected. Despite SLORC claims to the contrary, the Communist Party of Burma, based along the Burma-China border, had little or no role in the uprising. Democracy Summer focused international attention on Burma, a previously obscure country, and initiated a movement both inside the country and abroad to replace military rule with some form of democracy. But unlike Presidents Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Suharto in Indonesia, overthrown by popular movements in 1986 and 1998, the post-1988 military regime has been ruthlessly successful in blocking political change.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Democracy (journal) — Democracy Premier Issue, Summer 2006 Type Quarterly Political Magazine Format Magazine Editor Michael Tom …   Wikipedia

  • Democracy in America —   Author(s) Alexis de Tocqueville Original …   Wikipedia

  • Democracy (album) — Democracy Studio album by Killing Joke Released April 1, 1996 (1996 04 01) …   Wikipedia

  • Democracy in the Middle East — According to the Democracy Index (published by the Economist, a British journal), the country in the Middle East with the highest Democracy Index score is Israel, with a score of 7.48, corresponding to the status of flawed democracy ; the only… …   Wikipedia

  • Democracy and Workers' Rights Center — The Democracy and Workers Rights Center (DWRC) is a Palestinian non governmental, non profit organization, not affiliated with any political party. DWRC was established in 1993 by a group of trade unionists, lawyers, academics and political… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese Democracy Tour — World tour by Guns N Roses Associated album Chinese Democracy Start date January 1, 2001 End date December 31, 2011 Legs …   Wikipedia

  • 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay — 2008 Summer Olympics Bid process Venues Marketing Concerns and controversies Torch relay (route) Opening ceremony (flag bearers) Medal table (medalists) Closing ceremony Event calendar …   Wikipedia

  • Freedom Summer — For the 2002 children s book, see Freedom Summer (book). Summer Project redirects here. For work assigned to students during their summer vacation, see Summer project (education). Freedom Summer (also known as the Mississippi Summer Project) was… …   Wikipedia

  • New Democracy (Sweden) — New Democracy Ny Demokrati Chairman Ian Wachtmeister Bert Karlsson Founded 4 Fe …   Wikipedia

  • Portuguese transition to democracy — Portugal s experience with democracy before the Carnation Revolution of 1974 had not been particularly successful. Its First Republic lasted only sixteen years, from 1910 to 1926. Under the republic, parliamentary institutions worked poorly and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.