On This Day

When Monks Led a Revolution in Myanmar

By Wei Yan Aung 19 September 2019

YANGON—On this day twelve years ago, thousands of Buddhist monks took to the streets in 17 cities across Myanmar including Yangon and Mandalay in a massive protest against military rule, later known as Saffron Revolution. It was the largest demonstration led by Buddhist monks in Myanmar’s history.

The protest went on for about 20 days. It was sparked by the government’s arrest of prominent activists from the 88 Generation student group and Buddhist monks in Pakokku, Sagiang Region and in Sittwe, Rakhine State who staged protests against high commodity and fuel prices.

Eight days into the protest, Myanmar military soldiers and police carried out raids on monasteries and brutal crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators that ended in arrests and deaths.