August 8, 2007 is marked as the 19 anniversary of the historic 8888 Burmese democracy movement day. 19 years ago in August 8, 1988, millions of Burmese people rose up against the Burmese socialist dictatorship, stood up in streets and called for democracy. The party established by military generals who robbed the power in a coup from a democratically elected government since 1962, had been ruling the country for 26 years.
Students initiated nationwide mass movements toppled the 26 years old regime and another two consecutive regimes in a month. Thousands of students and people scarified their lives in the movement.
However, the Burmese military took over the power in a coup again, and cracked down the mass movements brutally by killing and imprisoning thousands of people. On the other hand, the generals gave a promise to hold an election and handover the power to people in order to avoid the intensive pressure of mass movement but never been fulfilled.
Consequently, in 1990, a multiparty election was held in Burma. The National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi won the 82 percent of majority in a landslide victory. Although the 1990 election is the only multiparty elections in the half century of Burmese history up to now, the military regime ignore to honor the results. Moreover, to establish a constitution that let the military rules remain legally, the military junta is holding a sham national convention, attending overwhelm handpicked representatives of the regime, without presenting NLD and other democracy forces.
We totally condemn the regime and its sham National Convention, and seven steps road map which is leading only to be legalized the military rule in Burma. We totally believe that the 1990 election result is the strongest and the legitimated will of the Burmese people, therefore, any changes toward democracy in the future of Burma must be based on the 1990 election results.
Today, we solute to the fallen students and people, who sacrificed their lives during the 8888 movements to break through the darkness of the dictatorship and give the enlightenment of democracy for our future. We stay with our cause united, hand in hand, to restore democracy in Burma.
As the Burmese Community in Ithaca, today is also our very special day, the “Burmese Democracy Day in Ithaca”. We appreciate the Ithaca City Mayor Carolyn K. Peterson and all the Common Council members for the unanimous decision declaring August 8 Each Year as Burmese Democracy Day in Ithaca since 2006, in order to support and honor of Burmese people inside and out for their democracy struggle. We also appreciate all the friends of Burma in Ithaca who carried out this day annually for the Burmese people in Ithaca and around the world, and strongly support our democracy struggle.
Today we reaffirm that we totally support NLD and all the democracy forces inside and out, especially 8888 Generation Students in Burma led by Minn Ko Naing and others 8888 generation students leaders.
We demand the Burmese military regime to release Daw Aung Suu Kyi and all the political prisoners immediately, stop any type of oppression upon the people and democracy forces including NLD and 8888 generation students, stop the sham national convention, and start meaningful dialogues immediately.
United we stand. Democracy must be restored in Burma in near future.
Burmese Community in Ithaca
Upstate, New York, United States of America