Burmese TV Broadcasts Martyrs Day Ceremony

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits her father’s tomb in Rangoon on Thursday to lay a wreath. Her father, independence hero Gen. Aung San, was killed on July 19, 1947.

RANGOON—Burmese state television broadcast a memorial ceremony for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s revered independence hero father for the first time in decades on Thursday, the latest sign of change in the former pariah nation.

The day marks the 65th anniversary of the 1947 assassination of opposition leader Suu Kyi’s father, Gen. Aung San.

Burma’s former military junta played down the event for more than 20 years as part of efforts to stem the popularity of Suu Kyi, who has led a pro-democracy movement since 1988 and was kept under house arrest for 15 years. The junta ceded power last year to a civilian government dominated by retired army officers, which has since embarked on a program of major political and financial reforms that have been lauded by the international community.

On Thursday, Martyr’s Day ceremonies were broadcast live on state television, and the government dispatched one of the nation’s two vice presidents to attend. Last year, the government’s top representative was the mayor of the largest city, Yangon.

With flags flying at half staff, Vice President Sai Mauk Kham joined Suu Kyi as she laid three baskets of flowers in front of her father’s tomb in Yangon, near the foot of towering golden Shwedagon pagoda. Sai Mauk Kham laid a wreath of white orchids and saluted the slain leader as a solemn two-minute silence was observed.

Aung San was 32 years old when he was gunned down on July 19, 1947, along with six Cabinet ministers and two other officials. He is considered the architect of Burma’s independence from Britain, which it achieved several months after his death.

Sao Kai Hpa, the son of Shan leader Mongon Sawba Sao San Tun—who was gunned down in the same attack—welcomed the fact that the government had decided to send a high-level official to pay its respects.

“It is a change in the right direction and it is a way of showing gratitude to those who gave up their lives for the country’s independence,” he said.


7 Responses to Burmese TV Broadcasts Martyrs Day Ceremony

  1. The Ordinary People of Burma

    The ordinary people of Burma remembers on.

    Our tribute to all who had sacrifice for our Nation Burma.

    May justice prevails and conquers all.

  2. It’s been shameful years all along for this 65 years…Aung San was assassinated….followed by trespassing the Panglong promises….by the dictatorship of Burman majority…followed by grabbed of power by the power hungered military elites….

    Little light we have seen now still in limbo…NLD has no ethnic agenda rather seems so contented with the available opportunities within 2008. Ethnic aspirations have never been acknowledged…rather creating deep rooted hatred among brethren…

  3. Dear Author,
    pls kindly use the right word for your country’s martyr as to respect him sincerely. pls correct your word under the above picture, “killed” into “assassinated” which is more appropriate and ethical word. Thank you.

  4. I wish Sama Duwa Sinwa Naung was among the martyrs who sold the Land of Kachin to the Unfounded and never realized federal Union. Today We Kachins are treated like a conquered Nation by a Union Brother Bama who supposed to be a good brother turned monster. Kachin villages, Kachin Churches have been ransacked destroyed burned to down. Kachins have to live in the sea of tears and blood. Kachins cause is forgotten, leaving the innocents to be rotten in the hand of State Sponsored Criminals. We never never dreamed off such calamities will be opened up by the Panglong. Today, the Kachins request of only to withdraw the Government troops to small pieces of land to reduce the direct confrontation and hostilities, even for such minor request, it is ignored, instead, applying crashing and termination policy which will only create uncontrollable calamities in the future.

  5. At least this is a good sign of change.
    In fact, all personnel in the government up to the President, especially former military generals including Than Shwe, should pay respect to our heros everyday.
    Because of these heros, they are at the positions.

  6. Aung San Suu Kyi was 2 years old and not 32 as written above when her father was slain

  7. United Federalism on the Indian or Australian model would give confidence to the minorities and strengthen the overall unity of the country. For years the Military encouraged the thinking that talk of federalism was somehow unpatriotic. The various ethnic groups have a common culture. Under a true democracy, there is little danger of disintegration………..Dan Nai Doo

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