Ceremony at Secretariat Commemorates Martyrs’ Day

By The Irrawaddy 18 July 2016

RANGOON — A commemorative ceremony to honor the late Gen Aung San and his cabinet members will—for the first time in several years—be held at the Secretariat, where they were gunned down in 1947, as Burma marks the anniversary of the assassination.

Organized by the Rangoon divisional government, Tuesday’s ceremony will be attended by Rangoon Mayor Maung Maung Soe as well as Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) members, according to U Than, YCDC joint secretary.

“The ceremony will start five minutes after the event at the mausoleum, which will start at 8 a.m.,” he said, referring to a state-level commemorative ceremony held annually at the burial site of the leaders near Shwedagon pagoda.

Burma’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will attend the event at the mausoleum. The day is held in recognition and honor of her father—independence leader Gen Aung San—and his former colleagues.

Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing will attend the ceremony at the mausoleum, becoming the first ever Burma Army chief to join the event since after 1988.

The ceremony at the Secretariat will be held in the courtyard where a pillar commemorating the assassination is erected.

“After the ceremony, which includes hoisting the flag to half-staff, the Secretariat will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” said U Than.

But access to the room where the leaders were assassinated will be off limits because the staircase leading up to it is not strong enough to be heavily trafficked.

“But the first Parliament building will be open to all,” he added.

Currently, the Secretariat is leased to a private company and is undergoing massive renovations in order to reopen as an art museum.