Exploring the Life of General Aung San at His Old Home

Bogyoke Aung San Museum is housed in his splendid old villa near Rangoon’s Kandawgyi Lake. The general corner bedroom was located on the first floor. Click on the box below to see more photos of the museum. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — On Friday, Burma will commemorate Martyrs’ Day to honor the nation’s founding father and independence hero Bogyoke Aung San, who was assassinated along with his eight cabinet members on July 19, 1947.

Burma is experiencing a revival of interest in the general, after the former military regime tried to downgrade his national hero status when it took power in 1988.

Those who want to learn about his life can visit Gen Aung San (and Aung San Suu Kyi)’s former residence in Rangoon, which was turned into Bogyoke Aung San Museum a long time ago.

“Bogyoke” (which means general in Burmese) lived with his wife Khin Kyi and their three children, Aung San Oo, Aung San Lin and Suu Kyi, in the hill-top villa in Bahan Township near Kandawgyi Lake. Suu Kyi — Burma’s current pro-democracy leader — was two years old when her father was killed in an assassination plot masterminded by his political rival U Saw.

After his death, Khin Kyi and the children lived in the villa until 1953 when Aung San Lin drowned in the compound’s pool. The family then moved to a colonial-era mansion on the shores of Inya Lake on Rangoon’s University Avenue, where Suu Kyi still lives to this day.

The Burmese government bought the general’s former Kandawgyi Lake residence for 30,000 kyats in 1948 and converted it into Bogyoke Aung San Museum in 1962.

The splendid villa turned museum boasts a host of Aung San’s personal belongings, ranging from his British-built black Wolseley motor vehicle to an overcoat given to him by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during a trip to England in the early 1940s.

A collection of 240 books on a variety of subjects — from applied mechanics and air defense to political economy and selected short stories by D.H. Lawrence — may be a source of interest for literature fans, too.

Downstairs features pictures and paintings of Aung San and his family, while the special meeting room upstairs is decorated with extracts from some of his speeches — including the explanatory guideline relating to the 1947 constitutional law which states “no constitution in the world is perfect.”

The museum is open from 8 am to 4 pm and entry fees are 300 kyat for Burmese and foreign visitors, and 100 kyat for children under 12. On Martyrs’ Day the museum is open free of charge.

Make sure not to bring your camera, mobile phones and MP4 players for they are strictly banned. “It’s just for museum security,” explained Kyaw Aye, the curator of the museum.

2 Responses to Exploring the Life of General Aung San at His Old Home

  1. U Razak and his boady guard, both muslim from Arakan, were shot by U Saw a karen…
    As the British failed to keep their promise to hand over Burma to The Karens.. History never Lie

  2. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA808B2DDEBBCFEE7
    Some documentaries about who killed Aung San. Everyone must watch.

    Britain destroyed records of colonial crimes.

    Some remaining documents of British crimes in colonial states are still kept secret.


    There must be much more to discover. We Myanmar citizens must promote mental and physical education as a first priority above all others. We must gain higher level of analytical and penetrative thinking, investigating skills, openness along with technologies, adventure attitude and be able to send our minds explore every single place and hidden corner in space-time-people universe with complete freedom. We must find know who are the masterminds behind the assassination and they be put to justice.

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