Conflict & Justice

Seeking Forgiveness in Myanmar, on Anniversary of Uprising

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Students hold wreaths as they march to mark the 25th anniversary of the democratic uprising, also known also as "8888", in Yangon. (Photo: REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)

August 8 marks the 25th anniversary of a peaceful "people power" uprising in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

The student-led rising was known as "8.8.88"³ after the date.

Thursday was the first time it was commemorated openly in Burma, which is gradually reforming and opening-up.

The rising was brutally crushed by the military a few weeks after it began.

Thousands of protesters were believed to have been killed.

The rising was in some ways facilitated by the BBC Burmese Service.

Protest leaders fed information to the BBC about their plans, which were then reported on air.

"It was the Twitter and Facebook of its age," says Christopher Gunness.

Gunness was a BBC reporter in Burma in 1988, who is now in the country again to seek forgiveness from one of his sources, an activist who was imprisoned and tortured for 16 years.

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