Thirty years after the 8888 uprising

Thirty years after the 8888 uprising


  1. Nehginpao Kipgen, Associate Professor , O.P Jindal Global University, discussed  that Myanmar’s stability and development can be achieved by resolving the issues of equality and federalism.

Important facts:

  1. August 8, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the people’s uprising (8888 uprising) in Myanmar.
  2. About ‘8888’ uprising:
  • The ‘8888’ uprising is one of Myanmar’s most important historic days in the context of pro-democracy movement.
  • It was a people’s movement that challenged the then ruling Burma Socialist Programme party’s grip on political, economic and social affairs which led the country into extreme poverty.
  • The protest gave rise to the National League for Democracy (NLD), which paved the way for the current Myanmar state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi’s entry into politics.
  • The objective of ‘8888’ uprising was twofold:
  1. To push for the transfer of power from the military to a civilian leadership.
  2. Change in political system from an authoritarian regime to a multi-party democracy.
  • For the country’s ethnic minorities, their political demands that date back to before Myanmaar’s independence in 1948 continue.
  • Non-Burma ethnic armed group have demanded a federal democracy that guarantees autonomy and self-determination in their respective areas.
  1. The day has also been observed in different parts of the world including Myanmar by Burmese expatriates.
  2. But , year’s programme in Myanmar is significant for two reasons:
  • It keeps alive the spirit of democracy and underscores the need for equality and federalism.
  • Builds an awareness campaign on the role of military.
  • This year anniversary committee has laid emphases on the importance of federalism and equality.
  • The success of 21st Century Panglong Conference or peace talk will depend on these two key issues:- Equality and Federalism.
  • Myanmar’s peace, stability and development also depend on these two issues (Equality and Federalism).
  1. The political change in Myanmar was designed by the military.
  2. Even the country’s 2008 Constitution gave the military a dominant role in politics.
  3. From 2016, Ms Sunn Kyi and the NLD formed the first civilian government in the country.
  4. Myanmar now practices the ‘Burmese way to democracy’ , introduced by former PM Khin Nyunt in 2003 when he announced the military’s seven-step road map to a flourishing democracy.
  5. The author gave the following suggestions for stability and democracy in Myanmar.
  • According to the author’s view the ‘8888’ leaders should look at democratic transitions in other countries.
  • They should share their findings not only with the civilian government but also with the military leadership.
  • According to the author no democracy can succeed when the military holds the rein and is unaccountable to an elected civilian leadership.
  • For democracy, the role of the ‘8888’ leaders remains important.
  • The military in Myanmar should note that all countries want a democracy that respects the rights of its entire people including the minorities.
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