Thursday, September 28, 2006

96 Uprising - Out of School

The comment made by the junta during the press conference resulted outrage among students. They called the regime to release true facts and to take action against the officers involved. Although demonstrations were suspended since the release of the arrested students, papers asking for justice were still sending to the junta. However, there were no response whatsoever from the junta. To make situation worse, leaflets accusing YIT students of being problem makers and arrogant were sent to the hostels. These letters bear no reply address and no signatures. Many more leaflets were seen pasting on the walls of YIT, on which the writer claimed people hate YIT students for what we were doing. The complaints were made but the Head of school didn’t take any action.

After weeks of waiting, the students acted on the morning of 2nd December 1996. Crowds were gathered under the famous building one, where Ko Phone Maw was shot on 13th March 1988. We were sitting at the place where Ko Phone Maw and his friends might have sat then. We were again fighting the injustice like they have done so. This problem was no longer students’ problem. The injustice placed above the people for so long has to be removed.

The head of school U Kyin Soe met us around 9:30am and told us to disperse. However, his words could not break the students’ determination. Our anger and dislike against the regime was long been in our hearts and we all knew that was the moment. At around 10am, we were told that Education Minister U Pan Aung was on his way to the school to talk with us. At that time, building one was totally full with almost all the students gathered around it. The minister didn’t arrive. Every half hour, the secretary or the person-in-charge of students’ affair came out and told us that he was on his way. They did have the nerve to lie even in the face of hundreds of students. At 12:00 it was decided we should no longer wait. Since he didn’t dare meeting the students, we should rather go and meet him instead.

The decision to go out of YIT campus was made but the gates were already locked by the lecturers. A group of us still proceed right to the main gate and negotiated with the lecturers there. We couldn’t get them open the gate and sat in front of the gate until 2pm. Some of the students started trying to climb the gate and the situation was getting worse. At last we pushed open the main gate. With a hundred person strength, the lock broke and the gate was open. Once we were out, those sitting under building one marched out as well and joined us. By now, YIT campus was a deserted place. We were buoyed by the unity of the students. The march started along Insein Road leading towards Hledan Junction where the historic Rangoon University situated.
Disclaimer:Again, all the events mentioned inside here except the hostel events were my personal experience and hence they are all true and correct up to my memory is allowed. If anything is wrong(which I doubt so, except for the exact hour and minute), that is not intentional and I welcome every single correction and comment.

7 comments:

seinmyoutmyout said...

keep going brother.If u don't mind, can u contribute to our blog.i wanted to invite you to our blog.And we want to debate and discuss about each other point of view and want to share knowledge among us.Anyhow, your articles could make my eyes and ears wide.thanks.

generation96 said...

thanks for your compliment bro. i'll be glad to contribute for your blog. also glad to know my blog could help you in some ways.. we'll talk later..

Anonymous said...

Factual Errors! The YIT head (Rector) at the time was not Dr Paing Soe. It was U Kyin Soe. The education minister at the time was U Pan Aung. I doubt you are one of us and maybe you are a third party writer? I was one in the group. If you really were amongst us, you shouldn't have made the factural errors. Any explanations? Apart from those crucial errors, the writings and sequence is good. Keep on writing.

generation96 said...

thanks for correcting me friend. i was never sure of minister name. that's why i put it in bracket. thanks to you i now remember..pan aung and than aung later. anyway, if i were a third party writer, i would say so...but good to have someone who can correct me. :)

karen connelly said...

hi,
great to read your history. i am a writer (www.karen connelly.ca) who was at Hledan junction that historic night in 96, and am trying to remember various events and facts and make sure i tell the story correctly. (i'm working on another book about burma) your blog has been a big help--i've been able to check it against my own notes and memory.
i'm so glad to see that you've made this history. i've written a book about burma, a novel, called The Lizard Cage, and i look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when more burmese people will be free to publish their true stories. until then, your blog and others are so important. keep going, and good luck, yee yee cho

Anonymous said...

Gen 96

I think you were incorrect or inaccurate in describing that night.

On that evening, students in Gyo Gone halls waited for official apology at 8:00 PM news. Apology for several policemen brutally kicking two of 2nd or 3rd year students until bones broken. No news in radio made students came out of all halls to the columns of Yangon Institute of Technology main building.

On that night, rector U Kyin Soe together with registerar U Thein Sein was at the U Lu Paw gate. U Kyin Soe, alebait his threats and unpopular with students, was really worry for us. He said anyone who passed the gates will be expelled from YIT forever.

A couple of students went out first
and they rallied the rest to join them outside. Some students get the buses on Yangon Insein road and one bus driver was hit in the head as one student used a stone.
Then after a two or three dozens of students massed outside and students joined more. There were more than 300 students in hijacked cars headed to YIT hostels inside RC 2 campus, Singu, DuYa, etc.. Except from ZiWaKa hall, all other hostels came out. Then Eco students were shouted to joined in as well. Then waited for U Pan Aung in Hledan but he did not showed up. The students dispersed around mid night. At that night there were more than 2000 to 3000 were there. That was what happened on that night!!!!

Anonymous said...

FYI I will tell you how did all happen! How did students gather at Hledan, Yangon, Myanmar on a night in Dec 1996.

On that evening, students in Gyo Gone halls (hostels) of YIT waited for announcement of official apology at 8:00 PM local news. They demanded an apology for the acts of several policemen brutal abusement of two 2nd or 3rd year YIT students until bones broken. No apology in local news made students came out of halls to the muster point under the columns of Yangon Institute of Technology's main building.

On that night, University of Michigan trained rector U Kyin Soe together with registerar U Thein Sein (who was rumored to be a MI informer) was at the U Lu Paw gate (the entry place vehicles). U Kyin Soe, alebait his bad manners, and unpopularity with majority of students, was really worry for students. Standing at the gates, he threatened anyone who passed the gates will be expelled from YIT forever.

A couple of students went out first and from outside they rallied the rest to join them. At the same time one guy stopped the traffic on Yangon-Insein road and one bus driver was hit in the head as he used a stone to be used as projectile to stop that bus. That was public bus number 45.

At the same time, at the gates of YIT, when two or three dozens of students massed outside and students start to feel safety in number and more students joined passing the U Lu Paw gate. There were more than 300 students loaded on hijacked buses headed to YIT hostels (for junir year students) inside near by RC 2 Hlaing campus. Roamed with the buses seniors can get juniors out of Singu, DuYa, InLay hostels to join. No students from ZiWaKa hall could come out as the warden of the hostel was in control of his residents. Then students from Yangon Institute of Technology were wooed to joined YIT folks in as well. All combined students forced head to Hledan where they were joined by students from Yangon University where geology majors have campus housing.

All students waited for U Pan Aung in Hledan but he did not showed up as promised. The students waited but threatened with rally police and most of the crowd dispersed around mid night. At that night there were more than 2000 to 3000 were there. Some hard core students were left behind but there were no news of arrest on next day. That was what happened on that night!!