Wednesday, November 08, 2006

98 Uprising

The protest was the biggest since 96 student movements. We were again sat on the floor of historic YIT building one. We were again locked inside the school. We were again fighting for the good of the country. Although the anger was mainly directed towards lack of teaching time before the exams as well as the news of plan to splits up the campus into Hlaing Thar Yar and Sinde (Pyay) campuses, it was after all against the ruling regime. Within minutes of protest inside the campus, scores of police showed up outside the walls of YIT along with plain clothed MIs and SBs. Powerful cameras and video cameras were set up just outside the small entry gate near building one and believed to have recorded every movement inside.

The students reacted this by hanging posters with slogans and demands on the walls of YIT right in front of their cameras coolly. Moreover, the E2000 light truck which was parked in front of student affairs office was moved to block the views of cameras set up outside. A large crowd was formed and the rector was trying hard to appease the students. One after another, students stood up and let out their anger at him. Many time the rector or the secretary or others who held high position in schools assured us that the school would not move anywhere (which was a plain lie). They also assured us that we be graduated in within 6 years no matter what. We complained we had not really learnt anything (less than two months of study including 1996 school time) and they told us it was out of their hands. We wanted true education and they offered us fruitless education.

With no hope to get out of school with police around, and traffic completely diverted, we decided to continue the protest peacefully from inside the compound. The democratic songs and student union songs were written down on paper by those who knew these by heart. Many others copied the songs on their books and distributed to as many students as possible. Posters were drawn using drawing sheets and our national anthem was sung the whole day.

(I would have to honestly say that I did not remember how many days we had protests in YIT. Personally I think it was only one day because the school was officially closed the following day until the exam started.)

With darkness insight and unusual movements of troops outside, as well as by then known knowledge of the regime’s nature of making attack in dark(they did that always, in 88, in 96, in 98, and in 2003 depayin), I decided to leave. I and my friends sneaked out of the school by taking a lecturer car. We saw continuous line of military trucks from YIT to Thamine Junction with shields and sticks loaded. There were unconfirmed reports of police entering the campus around 8pm that day.

Although the school was closed, hostel students still staged protests every night in Hlaing campus and YIT campus. However, they were all under unofficial curfew and never managed to get out of their respective compounds. Hlaing and YIT campuses were off limit to people these days with barbed wire and military trucks blocking every entrance available.

When the exams started, the suspected student leaders were not allowed to take the exams at YIT. Instead, they were forced to take the exams at GTI. Some of them were taken to MI HQ set up in Hlaing Campus during exam time and plainly threatened not to take part in any of the protests. They were even told that they would be arrested even if they were seen watching others protesting.

The exams ended without any further protests and students were quickly sent back to their home towns. However, most of the students having needed to take exam at GTI did not get a chance to see their family when they went back for they were arrested at the jetty, at the stations or at the highway bus terminals. It was one after another in Rangoon. For about 2 months, I learnt one friend after another taken from their homes at night. Not only YIT students, students from other universities were arrested also. They were later sentenced to 7 years in jail for breaking which law we never know.


Anonymous said...

က်ေနာ္က ၉၆၊၉၈ မွာေက်ာင္းတက္ခဲ့တဲ့ေက်ာင္းသား
တေယာက္ပါပဲ။စိတ္၀င္စားလို ့ၾကိဳးစားျပီးေတာ့ ဖတ္ပါတယ္ဗ်။ ဘိုလိုကလညး္မေတာက္တေခါက္ဆိုေတာ့ ကိုယ့္အျဖစ္ကပါ၀ါမကိုက္တဲ့မ်က္မွန္တပ္ျပီး ဖတ္ေနရသလို ၀ါးတားတားျဖစ္ေနတယ္ဗ်။
္ကိုယ့္ဆရာအခ်ိန္ေလး နည္းနည္းရရင္ ေက်းဇူးျပဳၿပီးဗမာလိုေလးပါေရးေပးပါလား။