On This Day

The Day Bo Min Yaung Chose Execution over Serving the British

By Wei Yan Aung 21 June 2019

YANGON—One hundred and thirty-one years ago today, Bo Min Yaung was executed by the British for rebellion. Bo Min Yaung, the great uncle of Myanmar’s independence hero General Aung San, was one of the earliest national heroes in the fight against British annexation.

When the British colonialists occupied upper Myanmar following the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, Bo Min Yaung, the chief of a town called Lu Lin near today’s Taungdwingyi Township in Magwe Region, rallied the locals and fought back against the British the following year.

His armed resistance continued for the next two years, but due to a shortage of weapons and food supplies, as well as the military superiority of the British, the revolt failed.

The British arrested Bo Min Yaung, but then offered him the position of mayor. However, he chose to be executed rather than serve under the colonial regime.

Bo Min Yaung’s severed head was put on display in Magwe’s Natmauk as a warning to local people of the consequences of staging a revolt. Some 60 years later, the man who would go on to lead the effort to free Myanmar of the yoke of colonialism, Aung San, was born in Natmauk. Current State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was able to end dictatorship and establish democracy in Myanmar, is a descendant of Bo Min Yaung.