Crowds have turned out in cities across Burma to publicly commemorate the 24th anniversary of pro-democracy protests, which for the first time won approval, and partial funding, from the government.
Hundreds of people attended rallies in Yangon, Mandalay and elsewhere today to mark the August 8 1988, demonstrations, which triggered one of the country’s bloodiest uprisings.
Such rallies and the government’s reaction would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
While the country was under military rule, residents dared not mark the anniversary for fear of being arrested.
Presidential spokesman Nay Zin Latt said the government recognised the anniversary as an “historic event” and the president wanted to show his sincerity about achieving national reconciliation.