All Burma Federation of Student Unions Central Organizing Committee Report
(January 18 – March 26, 2012)
- Program and principles
- Future Plans
1.) Formation of All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Central Organizing Committee)
Students, who had been released from prisons, had been actively took part in student movement in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and current students who are working for ABFSU activities formed the Central Organizing Committee of ABFSU in Rangoon on 18 January 2012. As per statement, COC clearly mentions that to attempt the formation of regional and ethnic student unions in nationwide, and to organize general student conference forming All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU). That is why we establish student unions forming committee with 12 students.
2.) Formation the committee to emerge a lawful All Burma Federation of Student Union (Upper Burma)
On 8 January 2012, successive ABFSU leaders hold a meeting at Ma Soe Yein monastery, Ka Tat Kone, Mandalay (Upper Burma). On 10 January 2012, nine students formed a committee to establish a lawful All Burma Federation of Student Union (Upper Burma). On 1 February 2012, the committee organized a press conference highlighted the committee’s principles and future plans. As a consequence, Mandalay District Student Union, Yadanapon university student unions, technological student union (Mandalay) are formed respectively on 26 February, 29 February and 1 March 2012.
3.) Formation of All Burma Federation of Student Unions (West Pegu)
On 20 January 2012, based on the universities where situated in West Pegu such as Pyi University, Technological University ( Pyi) , Computer University ( Pyi) formed All Burma Federation of Student Union ( West Pegu).
4.) Formation a committee to form All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Mon Ywa District)
On 16 February, 30 university students from Mon Ywa University, Computer University (Mon Ywa), Technological University (Mon Ywa) and University of Economic (Mon Ywa) formed a committee to establish student unions at Oak Kan Tawya monastery. As a result, on 9 March 2012, Mon Ywa University student union and on 14 March 2012 Mon Ywa Technological University student union were respectively formed.
5.) Formation of ABFSU (Myin Chyan District)
On 10 March 2012, Myin Chan District Student union was established. The Union declared to vow follow the five principles of ABFSU. The union reaffirmed that they will take part in burgeoning democracy and development of Burma.
6.) Formation of ABFSU (Shan State- South)
All university students who are studying at Taung Gyi (Shan State-South) are happy with five principals for ABFSU, and formed ABFSU (Shan State- South) in February 2012.
7.) Formation of ABFSU (Rangoon – Southern District)
Students who are from Than Lyin, Kayuk Tan, Kha Yan, Thow Khwa, Kawt Hmu, Kon Chan Kone, Ton Tay , Da La townships , studying at Tawa University, Co-operative University ( Than Lyin), Technological University (Than Lyin) , and Nautical University formed a temporary committee with 32 students from those universities on 23 February 2012.
8.) Formation of ABFSU (Nay Pyi Daw District)
On 3 March 2012, students from university of Forestry, university of agricultural and veterinary university formed students union of ABFSU Nay Pyi Daw district.
9.) Formation of ABFSU (Ma U Bin District)
On 18 March 2012, students from Ma U Bin district who have been actively trying to form student unions since February 2012 are successfully established organizing committee of ABFSU (Ma U Bin District) with 10 students.
10.) Formation of ABFSU (Kyauk Se District)
On 15 March 2012, Kyauk Se University Student Union and Kyauk Se Technological university student unions were formed. On 17 March 2012, Kyauk Se District student union was formed.
11.) Evolving of Ethnic Student Union
ABFSU clearly mentioned that it will try to establish ethnic student unions as a brotherhood organization of ABFSU. ABFSU warmly welcome emerging of Chin Student Union (Ka Lae University) on 4 March 2012.
2. Program and Principles
As long as ABFSU are not able to call general conference, ABFSU has to abide by the principals that were laid down by previous ABFSU conference. According to 1961 ABFSU conference, there are five principals
- National Politics
- Democratic Education
- Safeguarding Student Rights
- Safeguarding students’ rights, advanced education and soothing students’ lives.
- To collaborate other student groups who want to seek just resolution of student affairs
- Studying with peace and tranquillity, to preserve and promote cultural affairs, and keep upholding friendship among students
Accordance with students need, ABFSU laid down program framework for 2012-13. Based on the program framework, ABFSU will extend detail implementation plans.
- Establishing student unions in nationwide
- To publish Oway magazine
- To organize general student conference with all universities and colleges
- Safeguarding Democratic Rights
- Collaborate and peacefully coexistence with students and teachers
Since ABFSU members had been released from prisons in 2011, ABFSU has cogently elevated it activities. In January 2012, there were some more ABFSU members had been released from prisons; the ABFSU activities are more vigorous than ever. The leading activity was warmly greeting ABFSU members who had been released from prisons waving ABFSU flag and singing ABFSU song at the airport and bus stations.
Since central organizing committee was formed, there have been a lot of tasks were done. In line with ABFSU principals, we are making trips around Burma to discus with students to form student unions. At the same time, we are campaigning to release from political prisoners including Aye Aung who is a member of ABFSU; we are collaborating with like-minded organizations for this activity.
We are also working with some exile organizations to identify the list of political prisoners.
When Rev. Shwe Nya WA who is an exemplar monk for nation and religion faced with forced to arbitrary remove from monastery, we firmly stand with him, and launched signature campaign for asking the authorities to amend the instruction. In addition, we actively attended Rev. Shwe Nya Wa’s sermon showing our support to him as a part of his followers.
Ko Kyaw Ko Ko who is a chairperson of COC and Ko De Nyein Lin joined and read the papers at the anti- apprehension seminar which was organized by Burmese Youth Organization at their office where is situated in Pazundaung township. ABFSU members and Karuna Let (compassionate assistance) made a fund raising activity for free education for the poor at Kyait Kauk pagoda festival in Than Lyn for 10 days. At the festival, ABFSU sold some ABFSU tokens such as flags and badges as fund of education of the poor children and some capacity building trainings.
For Internal Displace Persons in Kachin State due to battle between the Burmese army and KIA, ABFSU joined with White Hand group to make fund raising for those IDP at 2600 anniversary of Shew Da Gon pagoda’s festival.
Along with White Hand activities, ABFSU cooperated with youth social organizations that are inclined to politics. At the festival, ABFSU sold Kachin’s national dress, books and some knick-knack material of ABFSU, T-shirt and VCD , it made some profit , among them ABFSU went and donated K 300,000 to Kachin IDP. When White Hand organization went to refugee camp at Kachin State, one ABFSU representative, Ko Zaw Hoo Aung, joined it.
When White hand group came back from Kachin state, and hold the press conference at Taw Win Hnin See restaurant, ABFSU treasure Han Nin Oo explained ABFSU activities for Kachin refugee.
In addition, ABFSU cooperated with former political prisoners organized Self Help Program which it is a show that former political prisoners’ art work such as paintings, song s and poems were created in prisons at two places in Rangoon. Some art of Kyaw Ko Ko who is a chairperson of COC (ABFSU), exhibited at Sarpay law Ka’s art show, Peace and Freedom. When former political prisoners show their art works that created in prions at US information centre, two ABFSU members ko Nanda Sit Aung and Ko Kyaw Ko Ko recited the poems.
On 20 December 2011, ABFSU organized Ko Aung Kyaw day (student day) which was a memorable day for Ko Aung Kyaw who was the first student gave up his life for student movement, at Pariyathi monastery, Ma Ya Gon, Rangoon. It is an unforgettable day that reminds the glorious role of ABFSU which took part anti-imperialism, anti-fascist, nationalist movement, struggle for peace and democracy. Though many students, including current ABFSU (COC) members , were still in prisons, it made happen due to the tireless effort of Ma Phyo Phyo Aung ( General Secretary) and Ko Lin Htet Naing ( Vice-chairperson), ABFSU reorganized their effort of that event would be a memorable day for ABFSU. At the event, ABSFU got some donation, among them ABFSU donated K 200,000 to Kachin refugee. On 13 March, 1988 two students Ko Phone Maw and Ko Soe Naing were killed by military-backed government, it is named as Burma Human Rights day. ABFSU organized an event at Ma Gin monastery offering morning food for Sangha on 13 March 2012 that good deed was intended for student martyrs who gave up their lives for student movement. At the same time, ABFSU (Upper Burma) went to Mandalay Martyrs’s building, which was a memorial building for 17 martyrs who gave up lives during independence struggle, and put Ko Phone Maw’s photo at there and bowed him with flowers, it was considered as a great event.
On 16 March 1988, Burmese military and riot police inhumanely cracked down university students at White Bridge at Inya lake, it was a bloody event so students changed the name of the bridge: white bridge to red bridge, and also recognized as a memorial of Burmese student movement as “ Red Bridge Day”. On 16 March 2012, ABFSU and 88 generation students co-organized Red bridge day, 88 generations student recalled the event. At the same day, ABFSU (Ma u bin) also organized Red Bridge day at Shwe Phone Myint Pagoda waging ABFSU flag (Fighting Peacock flag) and portray the word of red bridge with candle light and pray for those who gave up their live for democracy.
5. Future plans
Oway Magazine is a historic one and considered as voice of student of Rangoon University Student Union since 1930s. The purpose of the magazine is to reveal suffering and reflect real situation of student life. We have published the magazine because Rangoon University Student Unions is not re-established due to some reasons, and we would like to use the historic magazine as a platform to disseminate our idea and activities, and fill the gap as a bridge between old generations and new generation students.
To safeguard national sovereignty, establish national education, democratization, and peace those are unfinished work for students so to complete and to fulfil those tasks Oway will continue to publish.
Since 1988 the military had staged the coup and remained in power for 22 years, and in 2011 Burma has changed military rule to parliamentary rule, however, current government does not take action to change education reform- democratic education that is a desire of students and people, and they do not revoke the laws which intentionally promulgated to control student movements, so we conclude that current government is not genuinely undertaking reforms. As a result, ABFSU will fight for students’ right and democratic education; we will never give them up. There are our detail future plans
- Free Education
- To lessen transportation cost for students
- To re-establish hostels for students, and closed down some university where situated in satellite towns
- To provide reasonable amount of scholarship
- To assign qualify teachers
- To abolish some rules and regulations those are not appropriate with current situation
- To grant right to study for former student political prisoners as the courses they studied before arrested
- To promote coordination to understand between students and teacher
- To construct a new University Student Union Building in original place where it was demolished in 1962
- To try to stipulate university act which safeguards the student rights
- To access reference books and instrument with reasonable price
- To re-open hostels at university compounds
- To establish inclusive ethnic student federation
- Representative students who are elected by student body should take part in university administration
To fulfil these demands student unions in every corner of the country should take action with harmony.
To all members of ABFSU,
As you know ABFSU is a forefront organization which has been struggling for student rights, people desire, and national cause. To firmly maintain our student spirit: to sacrifice our lives for people and continue our struggle.
You should take over responsibilities of ABFSU spirit which was build up by Ko Aung San, Ko Ba Hein and Ko Aung Kyaw, please don’t allow breaking up the student union. Be aware of betrayer and to protect the student unions. No one can break up students and people craving. So, we should prove that no one can stop our good mission in our history.
Long live ABFSU! To firm student unity, and to accomplish democracy!
Kyaw Ko Ko
Central Organizing Committee (All Burma Federation of Student Unions)
26 March 2012
Translated by ABFSU-FAC on April 30, 2011 from Oway Magazine (Vol. 1/ No. 9/ March 2012).
Please download the report HERE.
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