Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Aung San

Bogyoke (General) Aung San (13 February 1915 – 19 July 1947) was a Burmese revolutionary, nationalist, and founder of the modern Burmese army (Tatmadaw), and considered to be the Father of (modern-day) Burma.

He was a founder of the Communist Party of Burma and was instrumental in bringing about Burma's independence from British colonial rule in Burma, but was assassinated six months before independence. He is recognized as the leading architect of independence, and the founder of the Union of Burma. Affectionately known as "Bogyoke" (General), Aung San is still widely admired by the Burmese people, and his name is still invoked in Burmese politics to this day.

Aung San had a daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a recipient of a Nobel Peace an a Burmese politician.

Aung San was born to U Pha, a lawyer, and his wife Daw Suu in Natmauk, Magway District, in central Burma on 13 February 1915. His family was already well known in the Burmese resistance movement; his great uncle Bo Min Yaung fought against the British annexation of Burma in 1886.

Aung San received his primary education at a Buddhist monastic school in Natmauk, and secondary education at Yenangyaung High School. He went to Rangoon University (now the University of Yangon) and received a B.A. degree in English Literature, Modern History, and Political Science in 1938.

Struggle for Independence
After Aung San entered Rangoon University in 1933, he quickly became a student leader. He was elected to the executive committee of the Rangoon University Students' Union (RUSU). He then became editor of their magazine Oway (Peacock's Call).

In February 1936, he was threatened with expulsion from the university, along with U Nu, for refusing to reveal the name of the author of the article Hell Hound At Large, which criticized a senior University official. This led to the Second University Students' Strike and the university authorities subsequently retracted their expulsion orders. In 1938, Aung San was elected president of both the Rangoon University Student Union (RUSU) and the All-Burma Students Union (ABSU), formed after the strike spread to Mandalay. In the same year, the government appointed him as a student representative on the Rangoon University Act Amendment Committee.

In October 1938, Aung San left his law classes and entered national politics. At this point, he was anti-British, and staunchly anti-imperialist. He became a Thakin (lord or master – a politically motivated title that proclaimed that the Burmese people were the true masters of their country, not the colonial rulers who had usurped the title for their exclusive use) when he joined the Dobama Asiayone (Our Burma Union), and acted as their general secretary until August 1940. While in this role, he helped organize a series of countrywide strikes that became known as ME 1300 Revolution (Htaung thoun ya byei ayeidawbon), named after the Burmese calendar year.

He also helped found another nationalist organization, the Freedom Bloc (Bama-htwet-yat Gaing), by forming an alliance between the Dobama, the ABSU, politically active monks and Dr Ba Maw's Sinyètha (Poor Man's) Party, and became its general secretary. What remains relatively unknown is the fact that he also became a founder member and first secretary-general of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in August 1939. Shortly afterwards he co-founded the People's Revolutionary Party, renamed the Socialist Party after the Second World War. In March 1940, he attended the Indian National Congress Assembly in Ramgarh, India. However, the government issued a warrant for his arrest due to Thakin attempts to organize a revolt against the British and he had to flee Burma. He went first to China, seeking assistance from the government there (China was still under nationalist government during World War II), but he was intercepted by the Japanese military occupiers in Amoy, and was convinced by them to go to Japan instead.

On 19 July 1947, a gang of armed paramilitaries of former Prime Minister U Saw[citation needed] broke into the Secretariat Building in downtown Rangoon during a meeting of the Executive Council (the shadow government established by the British in preparation for the transfer of power) and assassinated Aung San and six of his cabinet ministers, including his older brother Ba Win, father of Sein Win leader of the government-in-exile, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB). A cabinet secretary and a bodyguard were also killed. U Saw was subsequently tried and hanged. During his trial a number of middle-ranking British army officers were implicated in the plot; they also were tried and imprisoned. Rumours of higher-level British involvement, and/or involvement by Ne Win, Aung San's long-term rival for leadership within the AFPFL, are unproven and probably unfounded.

While he was War Minister in 1942, Aung San met and married Khin Kyi, and around the same time her sister met and married Thakin Than Tun, the Communist leader. Aung San and Khin Kyi had four children. Their youngest surviving child, Aung San Suu Kyi, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the Burmese Opposition, the National League for Democracy (NLD), and was until 13 November 2010, held under house arrest by the military regime. Their second son, Aung San Lin, died at age eight, when he drowned in an ornamental lake in the grounds of the house. The elder, Aung San Oo, is an engineer working in the United States and has disagreed with his sister's political activities. Their youngest daughter, Aung San Chit, born in September 1946, died a few days after her birth. Aung San's wife Daw Khin Kyi died on 27 December 1988.

His place in history as the Architect of Burmese Independence and a national hero is assured both from his own legacy and due to the activities of his daughter. Aung San Suu Kyi was only two when her father died. A martyrs' mausoleum was built at the foot of the Shwedagon Pagoda and 19 July was designated Martyr's Day (Azani nei), a public holiday. His literary work entitled "Burma's Challenge" was likewise popular.

Aung San's name had been invoked by successive Burmese governments since independence until the military regime in the 1990s tried to eradicate all traces of Aung San's memory. Nevertheless, several statues of him adorn the former capital Yangon and his portrait still has pride of place in many homes and offices throughout the country. Scott Market, Yangon's most famous, was renamed Bogyoke Market in his memory, and Commissioner Road was retitled Bogyoke Aung San Road after independence. These names have been retained. Many towns and cities in Burma have thoroughfares and parks named after him. His portrait was held up everywhere during the 8888 Uprising in 1988 and used as a rallying point. Following the 8888 Uprising, the government redesigned the national currency, the kyat, removing his picture and replacing it with scenes of Burmese life.

From : www.wikipedia.org