On This Day

A Grieving Mother Addresses the Nation

By Wei Yan Aung 23 July 2019

YANGON—On this day in 1947, Daw Suu—whose two sons, national hero General Aung San and Trade Minister U Ba Win of the interim government of Myanmar, had been assassinated four days prior—delivered a radio address to the people.

In her radio speech, Daw Suu said she was proud of birthing two sons held in such high esteem by the country but was stricken with grief over their deaths at such young ages.

She said she would be able to overcome her grief to a certain extent if the whole country continued to struggle for independence under its new leaders.

U Ba Win was a dedicated school teacher. He taught his youngest brother, Gen. Aung San, when Aung San was a child, and he became the trade minister at the urging of his friends and students, who encouraged him to assist his little brother’s independence struggle. Aung San was 14 years his junior.

Gen. Aung San and his mother Daw Suu.

The two were was assassinated during a government executive council meeting on July 19, 1947.

U Ba Win, 46 at the time of his death, was shot eight times. He died just one month after becoming the trade minister.

“Though I can overcome my grief for my younger son, Aung San, as he had very rarely lived with me, I am inconsolable over the loss of my eldest son, Ba Win, who had lived in the same house as me,” Daw Suu said.

Daw Suu’s uncle Bo Min Yaung was executed by the British for his anti-colonial movement, and her two sons, who had struggled for the country’s independence from the British, also died in a British-orchestrated assassination.

Myanmar regained independence five months after the death of her two sons but then fell into a downward spiral of armed conflicts.

After more than 70 years of ongoing armed conflict, the country today sees third-generation leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, granddaughter of Daw Suu, take the helm again.