Burma’s Son

After the tragic death of Daj Hammerjold, the United Nations Security Council selected U Thant (Permanent Representative of the Union of Burma, which co-founded the Non-aligned Movement) to succeed Hammerjold as the Third UNSG and the first Asian UNSG.

USSR vetoed USA’s nominee for UNSG.

USA vetoed USSR’s proposal for Trioka (a three member committee from each of the Three Blocs).

After retirement, U Thant started writing his memoirs but was interrupted by failing health. His younger brother U Thaung was by his side in the final days, and helped bring U Thant’s body home.

The higher authorities were told explicitly or implicitly not to pay respect to U Thant’s body.

The Deputy Minister who paid respect to U Thant was dismissed effective immediately.

Most people expected a decent ceremony (if not a State Funeral befitting the Head of the World Organization), but they learned that U Thant’s body was to be placed at the Kyandaw Cemetery.

This led students to take U Thant’s body to the Main Campus and …

There were three dissenting votes by the student representatives for the higher authorities’ proposal to have U Thant buried in the Mausoleum (in Cantonment Park), and they lost by 8-3 margin.

The dark moments resulted in students being jailed or debarred, and some having to wait more months for their graduation ceremony.

One participant had already distributed invitation for the wedding, but ended with the loss of his freedom (for a few years) and his love.

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