Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road, Asia Road, was cut off by a landslide; Floods in some parts of Myanmar; The repeat of the 8888 Uprising that has reached its 35th Anniversary

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 07 Scenes

MoeMaKa, August 08, 2023

Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road, Asia Road, was cut off by a landslide; Floods in some parts of Myanmar; The repeat of the 8888 Uprising that has reached its 35th Anniversary


Due to the continuous rains of the monsoon season in Myanmar, some cities are flooded, and the water levels of the Bilin River, Thaungyin River, and Thanlyin River are rising. On August 7, due to continuous rains in recent weeks, a part of the Thai-Myanmar trade route, the mountain road section of Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road (Asia Road), was cut off by a landslide. A 100-foot-long section of the road was cut off, making the Kawkareik-Myawaddy road unusable.


The main Asian trade route between Thailand and Myanmar has recently been plagued by fighting and has been closed by armed groups for weeks. In those days, the Hto Ko Koe road section was used, but now in the rainy season, the Hto Ko Koe road has become muddy and difficult to navigate, according to news reports.


The place where the landslide happened is also the road near Taw Naw Waterfall, where fighting often happens. Thailand-Myanmar border trade will delay both tourism and goods to be exported to Thailand and goods to be imported from Thailand, and it is true that it will have a more or less impact on the economic sector.


While the road section of the Thai-Myanmar trade route is cut off, Mon, Karen, and Rakhine states are suffering from floods. There are floods due to continuous rains in townships such as Bilin in Mon State, Myawaddy and Hpa-An in Karen State, Minbya, Kyauktaw, and Mrauk-U in Rakhine State. In addition to the armed conflict and the Mocha storm, the people living in the refugee camps are also affected by the floods. They are suffering from the effects of natural disasters and armed conflict at the same time, and they are facing more difficulties as there are political problems in helping those affected by natural disasters, the weakness of the administration, and the weakness of the community in helping each other.


Tomorrow, August 8, will be the 35th anniversary of the 8888 Uprising. August 8, 1988, as a unique and easy-to-remember day, provoked a public movement, resulting in a month and a half of protests, shootings, suppression, killings, arrests, and a month-long government shutdown. The 8888 Uprising, in which the military used weapons to crack down on the masses, ended the one-party dictatorship, but it did not end the military’s involvement in politics. In the 8888 Uprising, the slogans of democratic multi-party elections and human rights were the main slogans and directions. After the uprising, the armed movement called the Student Army, the ground political party movement called the NLD Party, and ethnic parties emerged, and for more than 2 decades, they tried to change the junta to a civilian government or remove the military from politics.


There may be differences of opinion and analysis on whether the 88 uprising was a successful uprising or not. Masala (Burma Socialist Programme Party) was able to transform from a one-party dictatorship to a multi-party system, but one election appeared and the next election was held again after 20 years. The result of the first election was to be able to represent the National Assembly to draw the constitution rather than to gain power and rule at that time. Hence, they arrested opposition political forces and imprisoned them for political procrastination, and the country went through an unexpected decade of political crisis.


They established an armed revolution and a parallel government, and were able to form a strong opposition party on the ground, but the ground movements were far from reaching their goal, with arrests, long-term prison sentences, and house arrests of the top leaders.


Military generals from the last military regime themselves transformed into civilian government at the end of 2010, and until 2015, they walked on the path of transition to democracy during their rule. However, as many people know, at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, that trend has returned to a situation that is similar to that after the 1988 military coup, just like pressing the zero setting button.


Now, the situation after 2021 and the situation after 1988 can be said to be a repeat of history, but we cannot expect the events and trends after 1988 to happen again.