Friday, March 16, 2007

19th Anniversary of Red Bridge Day

March 16, 1998. Prome Road(Inya Lake),Rangoon, Burma.

Sound of yelling, cursing and shouting spread all over Prome Road and Inya Lake. Platoons of Stick wielding Riot Police were enjoying their day by beating, kicking, and even drowning the University students on strike.

Earlier hundreds of University students gathered and demanded justice from the ruling government for what happened on March 13 inside RIT compound. The demand to release all arrested RIT students were also raised. BSPP responded by sending troops of Riot Police to crush the strike.

The white staircase (တံတားျဖဴ)leading upwards the Inya Lake was so stained with students’ blood that March 16 was later known in Burma as “Red Bridge Day” (တံတားနီ ေန႔). It was rumored female students were molested while drowning inside Inya Lake and nearly a hundred were either beaten to death or drowned to death.

As far as I remember, the official version of the incident did not mention how much causality was there but they did admit 40 students were died of suffocation while transporting them to Insein prison. It was because the vehicle those 40 students were put in had little room for even about 20 people; it was not made for human transporting; the back of the vehicle carries a sealed container with no window. Until about 2 years ago, the vehicle was still running in North Oakkala.

It was a day not to be forgotten, it was a day our brothers and sisters loss their lives while trying to bring better future for us, it was a day 1988 witnessed the first mass killing of innocent people by the authorities. And it is now a day that reminds us the duty to make Burma better is now on us.

From here, I bow, for the fallen heroes!


HH said...

truthful heroism