Rangoon University Students’ Union Building to be Rebuilt Next Year

By Htet Naing Zaw 2 December 2016

The historic Rangoon University Students’ Union (RUSU) building will be rebuilt next year, according to deputy minister for education U Win Maw Htun.

“We have a plan to allocate a budget for the student union building in the next fiscal year,” U Win Maw Htun told the Lower House of Parliament on Friday.

He revealed the plan in response to the question of U Oo Hla Saw from Arakan State’s Mrauk-U Township who asked about timeframe and framework for designing separate charters for individual universities and a general charter for all universities. He also asked if the government had planned to rebuild the RUSU.

The deputy minister said his ministry was drawing up a budget for building a student union building in the original place of the previous one, and that the building would serve as a hub of student activities.

The RUSU building was demolished with dynamite at 6 am on July 8, 1962, following student protests against the government’s dissolution of university councils on the campus of Rangoon University on July 7, under the dictatorship of U Ne Win. Officially, 15 students and lecturers were killed and 27 were wounded in the military’s crackdown on the July 7 demonstration. Unofficial sources, however, claim that hundreds were killed.

Student unions under successive governments have called for the rebuilding of the RUSU. Since ex-President U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government came to power in 2010, students and activists have publicly memorialized the July 7 event annually.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.