All Burma Federation of Student Unions

All Burma Federation of Student Unions
   Growing out of the tradition of student political activism established by the Rangoon University Students Union and All Burma Students Union of the 1930s, the ABFSU first came to prominence when its leader, Min Ko Naing, called for a general strike on August 8, 1988, the Four Eights (8.8.88) Movement. It was formally established at a student conference on August 28, 1988, with Min Ko Naing as chairman and Moe Thee Zun as general secretary, bringing together student unions from a large number of universities and high schools. At that time, the ABFSU claimed a membership of 50,000. Following the seizure of power by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the leaders of the student movement decided to divide it into three parts: a legal political party, the Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS); an armed movement, which became the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF); and the ABFSU, chaired by Min Ko Naing, which worked underground. The effectiveness of the student union movement, however, was hindered by the arrest of many of its leaders and members, including Min Ko Naing in 1989 (he was released in 2004). SLORC's tactics included dividing the movement against itself; closing down university campuses throughout most of the 1990s; and, perhaps most effectively, relocating universities in remote areas and keeping them under tight surveillance.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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