The Irrawaddy / The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s Mausoleum Quiet as COVID-19 Mutes Martyrs’ Day

The Irrawaddy ...

The Martyrs’ Mausoleum, the venue in Yangon’s Bahan Township where members of the public gather annually on July 19 to pay tribute to their assassinated leaders, was unusually deserted on Monday as Myanmar marked 74 years since the 1947 assassination of her independence hero, Gen. Aung San, and his colleagues.

Last year, the gatherings were muted due to coronavirus-related social distancing measures and the mausoleum was cordoned off. But this year, the military regime, which seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, has blocked all the main roads leading to the site, as the whole country is under coronavirus lockdown.

Only armed junta soldiers were seen on Monday at the four corners of the Secretariat Building, the site where Gen. Aung San and his cabinet members were assassinated. On this day in previous years, the site was teeming with large crowds of people paying their respects.

Bogyoke Aung San Museum, Gen. Aung San’s last residence in Bahan before his assassination, was also quiet this year. Only patrolling junta trucks were seen on Natmauk Street, where the museum is located.