Burma

Myanmar Observes 25th Anniversary of Democratic Uprising

And the violent crackdown that followed

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Top government ministers were among 10,000 people gathered Thursday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Myanmar's 1988 pro-democracy uprising, marking the first time members of the country's nominally civilian government has openly acknowledged the brutality of the recent era of military rule.

The crackdown on the uprising left thousands of students and monks dead.

Three days of commemorative activities this week included an appearance by Aung Ming, now a minister in the office of President Thein Sein, and other members of his ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, which is comprised mostly of former generals.

The commemoration is a significant step in healing one of the deepest wounds in the country's recent history. The fact the event occurred at all was telling, particularly since several activists were arrested last year before a planned ceremony for a similar anniversary, and the government and parliament are largely made up of former or current military.