But He Clearly Got The Message
There I was at Sule Pagoda, which was just a couple of blocks from my hotel in Yangon. That was the area where on August 8, 1988 there was a huge rally estimated to be as many as 500,000 protesters. Aung San Suu Kyi spoke about the hope that she had for her nation.
The military government shot thousands of the protesters at that rally, which took place on the date of 8/8/88. From that moment on, the name of the moment, it got the name of the 8888 Uprising. The 8888 Uprising paralleled the Boston Massacre in 1770 in America.
After having a luncheon with many of the old guard who were at the 8888 Uprising a quarter century ago, Min Ko Naing invited me to a protest rally at Sule Pagoda several hours prior to my flight back to the States. I was delighted to accept his offer especially a rally at that particular location. While I cannot speak Burmese, I watched the various speakers many of whom were at the luncheon with Min Ko Naing.
The rally reminded me of the old civil rights demonstrations in the early 60s. I walked around and looked at the protesters.
This man was moved by the speeches that he made his own poster telling of his desire for human rights and democracy.
In case any foreigners were present at the rally, here is their desire in English:
I watched them respond to the various leaders of the 88 Generation of Students.
I stood there as Min Ko Naing spoke. I do not speak Burmese, but I saw the faces of the crowd respond to him.
As I walked around, I noticed one man in particular. He truly believes in Aung San Suu Kyi. Think about the guts and determination of this man. On the right side of his head is a tattoo of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady. At the back of his head is a tattoo of General Aung San who told the British to leave Burma and who was the father of Aung San Suu Kyi. On his left side of his head is the Fighting Peacock flag. After taking the pictures, I shook his hand. I told him that I admired him and his guts.
Then I remembered Shakespeare's line: "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once." I do not know whether he ever read Julius Caesar, but he clearly got the message.
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