01 October, 2020

Student Power

Fearing a repeat of 1988, the authorities shut down colleges

Student Power
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

STUDENTS are out on the streets of Myanmar again. In scenes reminiscent of 1988, when the student-led activists took to the streets of Yangon in support of democracy only to be brutally massacred by the army, the youth have been demonstrating once again at university campuses and public intersections in Yangon and Mandalay since last week.

The protests were set off by a minor incident—police mishandling of a brawl between three students of the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) and a restaurant-owner in October. The authorities claim that the arrested students have been let off and the policemen involved sacked. But in true Myanmarese style, the students decided this was the spark they needed to fire. The demands have now snowballed into a movement raising larger issues like the right to form unions banned by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Committee (SLORC).

The students have always been a potential danger factor for the military regime as they have been the torch-bearers of most movements in Myanmar,...

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