Brief Background of AASYC
The military coup in 1988 led to an exodus of democracy activists to border areas, as they attempted to seek refuge from the violent crackdown and arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, and mistreatment by the military regime. In November 1988, politically motivated Arakanese students formed the All Arakan Students’ Union (AASU) in Wakhetchoung Camp on the Burma-Bangladesh Border. Later, the AASU united under the banner of All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF, Arakan regiment,) to forge solidarity with other ethnic student groups and attempt to overthrow the military regime cooperatively. In 1994, the Arakan regiment of the ABSDF founded the Arakanese Students’ Congress (ASC) in New Delhi, India, to fight the junta using non-violent methods. In October 1995 a students’ and youths’ conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand. All those present at the conference were Arakanese student and youth representatives from Bangladesh, India and Thailand. By a unanimous decision, the All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC) was formed on October 6th, 1995. AASYC is one of the signatory organisations of the 1997 Mae Tha Raw Hta Agreement, a cross-party agreement between many ethnic groups regarding their vision of a democratic Burma. AASYC engages in non-violent opposition to the Burmese military regime, in alliance with any and all democratic organisations. Utilizing its sources inside Burma, AASYC creates numerous up-to-date publications, which are publicized and distributed with the purpose of informing and educating the Arakan and Burmese communities, as well as the International community, about life inside Burma.