Posted by Burma Independence Advocates Sat, November 15, 2014
Since yesterday morning students have been marching on the streets of former capital city Rangoon protesting against the new National Education Law. The largest student protests in the country since the 2007 Saffron Revolution. On 12 and 13 November, student representatives from all over the country met in Rangoon in order to discuss the newly passed education law and at the end of the meeting that is known as the National Emergency Meeting of Students, all the participants decided to boycott the law.
On Friday, students marched from Rangoon Central Rail Station to the city center where they staged a sit-in protest just outside of the park opposite Rangoon Town hall for a few hours. Marching with the Fighting Peacock flags which is the historic banner since the colonial period and wearing rice paddy hats, students chanted slogans and sang revolutionary songs.
Today’s demonstration took place near Rangoon University’s main campus. There was a standoff as the university officials did not allow the protesters entering the campus. Students initially discussed with the officials that they would not stay long in the campus and would leave after a vigil. However, since the gates remain locked after half an hour notice, students climbed over the chain-locked gates to enter the premise.
The intelligence and Special Branch officers were nearby closely monitoring and recording the event. Students held a vigil at the site of the old Union Building which was dynamited by the dictator General Ne Win in 1962. Students paid tribute to the fallen student martyrs in the past at Bo Aung Kyaw Memorial Column and vow to fight until their demands are met. (Note: Bo Aung Kyaw is the first student leader killed by the mounted police during a protest in 1938 when the country was under British rule.)
Later students marched to the Hledan Junction overpass and staged a sit-in under the bridge. General public also support students and joined them. Students call on the public and other pro-democracy forces to join the demonstration tomorrow which is also the 94th anniversary of the first student strike against the 1920 University Act.
Photos: Steering Committee for Democratic Education Movement Facebook Page Visit for more updates