History of Myanmar

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1986 Mar 12 - 1988 Sep 21

8888 Uprising

Myanmar (Burma)

The 8888 Uprising was a series of nationwide protests,[83] marches, and riots[84] in Burma that peaked in August 1988. Key events occurred on 8 August 1988 and therefore it is commonly known as the "8888 Uprising".[85] The protests began as a student movement and were organised largely by university students at the Rangoon Arts and Sciences University and the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT).


The 8888 uprising was started by students in Yangon (Rangoon) on 8 August 1988. Student protests spread throughout the country.[86] Hundreds of thousands of monks, children, university students, housewives, doctors and common people protested against the government.[87] The uprising ended on 18 September after a bloody military coup by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Thousands of deaths have been attributed to the military during this uprising,[86] while authorities in Burma put the figure at around 350 people killed.[88]


During the crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a national icon. When the military junta arranged an election in 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy, won 81% of the seats in the government (392 out of 492).[89] However, the military junta refused to recognise the results and continued to rule the country as the State Law and Order Restoration Council. Aung San Suu Kyi was also placed under house arrest. The State Law and Order Restoration Council would be a cosmetic change from the Burma Socialist Programme Party.[87]

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