Memories of my cousin
- My cousin sister Daw Myint Thwe (Betty) was born on July 19, 1934.
- She was celebrating her birthday on July 19, 1947 when the sad news were announced via the sirens.
- The birthday celebration was put on hold.
- Bogyoke Aung San
- Thakin Mya
There were several politicians named U Mya.
Thakin Mya was a leader of an AFPFL faction.
He was a “Minister without Portfolio” and was regarded as a Deputy Prime Minister.
- Deedok U Ba Cho
- Mahn Ba Khaing
- Sao San Htun (Mingpawn Sawbwa)
- U Ba Win
- U Razak
- ICS U Ohn Maung
- Yebaw Ko Htwe (Body guard of U Razak)
Absentees and Survivors
- Two ministers (U Tin Tut and U Kyaw Nyein) did not attend the meeting. on July 19, 1947.
- U Tin Tut was a victim of political assassination shortly after Independence.
He was already assigned to be Burmese Ambassador of the United Kingdom.
- U Kyaw Nyein’s faction (Ti Mye) split from AFPFL.
The split led to the Caretaker Government (pseudo Coup d’etat).
- According to Phaw Kaung Ba Nyunt, he could not find U Nu (Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies) at his office.
- A few ministers (Pagan U Ba Gyan, U Aung Zan Wai, …) who were seated at the far side of the meeting table escaped.
- U Ba Gyan is the elder brother of U Ba Shan (Secretary of the Mathematics Curriculum Committee, and father of Boe Ba Shan and Toe Ba Shan).
U Ba Gyan sat down to the floor but was holding the edge of the table and he had a gunshot would to one of his fingers.
- U Aung Zan Wai was a signer of the Pinlon (Panlong) Agreement.
- U Tin Ohn and Bo Tun Hla (Tekkatho Nay Win) were in an adjoining room in the Secretariat.
- Bogyoke’s body guards include Natmauk Phone Kyaw (writer) and Bo Tun Hla (Tekkatho Nay Win, writer and actor).
- Dr. Tin Wa (son of U Tin Ohn) was interviewed by BBC Burmese program.
Family members and relatives of Arzanis
- Daw Nge Ma Ma Than (GBNF, daughter of U Aung Than) lost two uncles : U Ba Win and Bogyoke Aung San.
She became a Prisoner of Conscience.
- Sayama Daw Myint Myint Khaing lost her father Mahn Ba Khaing.
- Ma Khin Myint Cho lost her grand father Deedoke U Ba Cho.
She invited us to a soon kwyay on one Arzani Nay.
News came in about arrests of those who tried to attend the ceremony.
- Saya U Tin Maung Thein lost his father U Ohn Maung.
- U Tin Myint and U Hla Kyi (sons of U Razak) are Old members of RUBC.
I met them at the YUBC Annual Regatta in December 2019.
- MongPawn Sawbwa Sao San Htun died in the hospital on July 20, 1947.
San Hso Holm (“Sawbwa Lay”, his son, was an Old Paulian, an RUBC Green (and winner of the Senior Novices crew coxed by Saya U Tin Htut) ,a scholar (English Honors (First Class) and two Law degrees), and an excellent writer.
The Sawbwas requested him for legal services.
He was detained along with the Sawbwas.
After serving in the Education Ministry, he and his family migrated to Australia.
His wife (sister of Saya Sao Kan Gyi) published an autobiography.
Arzani Beikman / Martyrs’ Mausoleum
In our younger days, we walked to Shwe Dagon Pagoda on Saturdays.
- We would occasionally stop by at the “Arzani Beikman” (Martyr’s Mausoleum). Nine Oke Gu’s were on display.
- Four Oke Gus flanked on each side of Bogyoke’s Oke Gu.
- Near the Beikman were two more Oke Gu’s : one for ICS U Tin Tut and another for Bo Sein Hman.
- Only after reading Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint’s article about the “Empty Tomb”, I learned that U Tin Tut was cremated at the special crematorium set up at Kyandaw Cemetery and that his ashes were scattered into a river.
- Fast forward.
- The “attempted massacre of Chung Doo Wan and his party” was carried out by three North Korean agents.
- One set of bombs did not go off and thus spared the lives of the Burmese contingent led by Minister U Aung Kyaw Myint.
U Soe Min, Deputy Director of Myanmar Ah Than TV, was hit by shrapnel, but he survived.
The award winning Kyemon reporter, who “switched” duties to cover the event, was killed.
- The higher authorities “dictated” the “design” of the “new” Arzani Beikman. No roofs were placed on top of the monolithic “Gu”.
- Some architects posted about their role in the project.
- Several writers noted that the then Number One never attended the ceremonies.
- A few hinted that he was a member of the Thakin Ba Sein faction of AFPFL and had some “grudges” for those from the other faction (led by Thakin Mya). He banned horse racing for the public and closed the Rangoon Turf Club.
He supposedly had fun (e.g. attending derbies) most July in UK.
- Over the years, the “protocol” changed.
- The families of the fallen leaders (e.g. Sayama Daw Myint Myint Khaing) were not invited to State functions and dinners.
- First tier leaders did not attend the Martyrs’ Day functions.
- Second tier leaders showed up as a token of respect.
- The family members of the Arzanis were not allowed time to pay physical respect.
They were given time only to lay the “Lwan Thu Pann Khwe”.
- At one time, the public was “barred” from paying respect, and those who tried were detained.
- With the Pwint Linn era, the Martyr’s day has regained its importance.
Articles, books and documentaries
- I read the articles (e.g. by Tekkatho Nay Win (a) Bo Tun Hla).
- I read the earlier edition of the book “Who killed Aung San?” by Kin Oung (former Naval Officer living in Australia).
His father U Tun Hla Oung arrested Galon U Saw.
His father-in-law U Thaung Sein (then Secretary of Insein Prison, later Justice) “kept watch of” U Saw so that U Saw and his team can be “tried” by a Special Tribunal headed by U Kyaw Myint (father of Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint).
- I saw the BBC’s production titled, “Who REALLY killed Aung San?”
- [Per Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint} ;
On the BBC Programme, U Kin Oung, was interviewed.
He is the author of three editions of “Who killed Aung San”.
The fourth edition was more comprehensive as he had access to government documents thanks to freedom of information act. The last version was titled “Eliminate the Elite”.
The articles in Kyemon and several posts in the RU Centennial Group reiterated the values of the fallen leaders.
- I wrote “AUNG SAN” for Bogyoke’s Centennial in 2015.
- Thakin Mya was considered as Deputy Prime Minister.
- Deedok U Ba Choe was a distinguished journalist and a “Hin Lay Oh”.
- Daw Marie Hla Taw drove Bogyoke to Mahn Ba Khaing’s place (preventing Bogyoke’s arrest by the police).
Mahn Ba Khaing helped Bogyoke get back to the safe area.
- Sao San Htun was hospitalized.
He passed away (the following day) on July 20, 1947.
- U Ba Win was a dedicated teacher.
He entered politics late to support Bogyoke (his younger brother and former student).
- U Razak (Principal) was highly regarded by the staff and students of Amyotha Kyaung (National High School).
Several sayadaws from Mandalay nominated him to be Minister of Education.
- According to Dr. Tin Wa, his father U Tin Ohn was in an adjoining room in the Secretariat.
U Ohn Maung (who was in the room earlier) was requested by Bogyoke to make a presentation.
- Bo Tun Hla (Tekkatho Nay Win, Bogyoke’s PSO) wrote memoirs in the Arzani Nay Supplement.
- Ko Htwe (U Razak’s yebaw) was gunned down by the assassins during their exit.
- Per Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint, gun shots were fired at his father’s house.
The family members laid low and were not hurt.
U Kyaw Myint was then Head of the tribunal that tried Galon U Saw.
- It was another episode in the “Who killed Aung San?”
- Mounting evidence — from declassified documents — suggest the involvement of several British politicians and officers in the murder of Arzanis.
- July 19, 1947 was a Dark Moment in the history of Burma.
- July 7 and July 8, 1962 would join as Dark Moments.