Manila, Philippines – In observance of the 25th anniversary of Burma/Myanmar’s 8-8-88 reform movement, the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-P), together with the Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), held a symbolic solidarity rally on August 8, starting at 10:00 a.m., in front of the Burmese/Myanmar Embassy in Makati, Metro Manila. The activity also coincides with the commemoration of the 8-8-88 uprising by various activists and groups in Yangon, today.
A total of seventy (70) Filipino solidarity activists from various sectors and networks attended the Manila symbolic solidarity rally. The primary speakers for the event were Jun Santos and Nice Coronacion of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Rasti Delizo of Sanlakas, and Malou Tabios of APSOC and the FBC-P secretariat.
The rally commemorated the August 8, 1988 protests in Burma that ignited the months long and countrywide protests against the mlitary dictatorship. In power since 1962 and soon characterized by corruption, economic failure and brutal repression of public dissent, the government responded to the peoples’ call with bloody and brutal measures. Having drawn millions to its ranks, the protests were met with bullets that killed thousands of students and civilians, displaced hundreds and thousands of communities, sexual assault against women in ethic communities, and caused the detention and lengthy imprisonment of several hundred others, including leading oppositionist and Nobel Peace Laureate Dau Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Free Burma Coalition – Philippines “8-8-88” rally underscored that despite the apparent reforms, the military-dominated Burmese/Myanmar government has been pressured into by the global community, the Burmese people remain a long ways off from realizing true freedom and reform. The “8-8-88” rally highlighted what the Burmese government still needs to do to complete its avowed reform process. At the same event, the rally speakers identified ways forward for support and solidarity groups inside and outside of Burma in bolstering the gains of the Burmese peoples towards realizing their true vision of Burma.
Towards this end the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines committed to further contributing to the continuing struggles of the peoples of Burma/Myanmar and calling on the international solidarity groups to support the following specific measures:
- Pursuit of an international inquiry on the crimes against humanity by the previous regimes towards the indemnification of all victims and survivors, and to ensure transitional justice and defense of human rights prevails.
- Ensure that a national and comprehensive peace framework anchored on the ethnic peoples’ right to self-determination be formalized.
- Call for an end to the elite rule and support genuine democratization through transparent, accountable and participatory governance that delivers social and economic justice for all.
In solidarity, the FBC-Philippines vowed to continue its ongoing campaign towards the realization of a just, democratic and free Burma.
Free Burma Coalition Philippines c/o firstname.lastname@example.org