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The wikipedia page on the PMNS matrix talks about there being a way to parametrize any 3x3 (special) unitary matrix by 4 parameters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontecorvo–Maki–Nakagawa–Sakata_matrix#Parameterization

However, I am quite sure SU(3) has dimension 8, it's generators being the 8 Gell-Mann matrices.

Shouldn't you need 8 parameters then?