On This Day

The Day Gen. Aung San Visited His Future Assassin in Hospital

By Wei Yan Aung 27 September 2020

YANGON—On this day in 1946, General Aung San and Thakin Nu visited opposition leader Galon U Saw, who was being treated for injuries to his eyes sustained in an assassination attempt six days earlier, at the Yangon (then Rangoon) General Hospital.

“I don’t like such political violence at all,” said Gen. Aung San as he entered the special room in Yangon General Hospital where the former prime minister of British Burma was receiving treatment.

With his eyes bandaged, U Saw listened with a smile. Gen. Aung San said he had no idea who was behind the attempted assassination. U Nu, however, suggested communists were to blame.

Over the next few days, Gen. Aung San counseled comrades at the People’s Volunteer Organization Headquarters against terrorism, saying political violence is not acceptable in countries like Myanmar, which was short of leaders.

According to political leaders at the time, however, U Saw firmly believed that Gen. Aung San and his Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) had plotted the assassination attempt, which was never solved.

On July 19, 1947, 10 months after the attempt on U Saw’s life, Gen. Aung San was himself assassinated along with his AFPFL ministers, including Thakin Mya, at the Secretariat Building in Yangon in an operation orchestrated by U Saw. U Nu was one of the top targets, but escaped death as he was not present in the office due to illness. U Nu became the first prime minister of independent Myanmar after Gen. Aung San’s death.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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