88 generation students’ timeline
by Mizzima News
Tuesday, 11 November 2008 18:15
November 11, 2008 – 14 members of the 88 generation group are sentenced to 65 years in prison.
October 2008 – 88 generation students receive the “2008 President’s International Democracy Award” awarded by the American Federation of Teachers. One of its leaders, Min Ko Naing, had previously received the 2005 Civil Coverage Award from the New York-based Train Foundation and Homo Homini award given by the Czech-based People in Need, the Student Peace Prize in 2001 and the John Humphrey Award in 1999.
August/September 2007 – Core leaders of the 88 generation group are detained by authorities after they protest against a fuel price hike, the protests later lead to the monk-led September countrywide uprising.
April 2007 – The 88 generation group organizes the “Sunday White Campaign,” demanding the immediate release of political prisoners. The group also urges the United Nation’s Security Council to pass an effective resolution on Burma’s political crisis.
January 4, 2007 – 88 generation students launch a campaign called “Open Heart,” encouraging the people to speak about their hardship. More than 25,000 letters are collected and sent to Senior General Than Shwe.
October 29, 2006 – 88 generation initiates a mass multi-religious prayer campaign in addition to launching a signature campaign, demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners and the initiation of genuine national reconciliation. 535,580 signatures are collected by October 23 and sent to the Burmese military government as well as to various UN organizations.
October 2006 – 88 generation organizes the “White Expression Campaign,” which features supporters dressed symbolically in white in demand of the release of political prisoners.
Most of the members of the 88 generation group are former political prisoners who served long sentences in Burma’s notorious penal system, subjected to serious human rights abuses.
88 generation group is not a political party but rather a movement, comprising a generation of students who were active during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.
The group was formed in 2005 by politically active student leaders, including Min Ko Naing.
A Moment of Nothingness by Min Ko Naing
Being a dragon – evolving from having been a snake
However there is no dragon crest to raise high.
Having imprinted configurations
On ones’ palms,
Yet there is no sign of luck to be proud of.
Everybody enters the race in the river
through their own preparation,
However, when one meets the waterfull unexpectedly,
Some ‘free-riders’ downstream scream in shock,
And some struggling upstream against the tide finally become helpless.
Numbers are increasing year after year,
However, there is no actual age to show people.
It could be still be called a life
Because we are still living and struggling,
However, there is no actual meaning to express.
Min Ko Naing (wrote in Sittwe Prison)
- Smuggled out of jail by another political prisoner.