Rangoon University

RU [32]


  • In the English alphabet, there are 26 letters.
  • There are 26 Upper Case letters A – Z.
  • There are 26 Lower Case letters a – z.
  • The corresponding letters from the Upper Case and Lower Case are known as Allographs. e.g. A and a
  • Many English words were derived from Latin which had 23 letters.
  • In Old English, the letters V and U are allographs.
  • The early Printing presses use the letter V (instead of U, e.g. VNIVERSITY as in the Inscription shown). Based on context, the V is pronounced as U.
  • The letter W is written in some old languages as UU or VV and is pronounced as “Double U”.

Some stone inscriptions from Rangoon University has FOVNDATION and VNIVERSITY. They stand for FOUNDATION and UNIVERSITY (since U and V are allographs).

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Inscription (1928)

Dark Days

  • There were many Dark Days in the History of Burma.
  • 7th July 1962 saw indiscriminate shooting at the student protesters. The official tally was 17 dead. Ko Aung Khin was hit by a stray bullet as he was returning home in Windermere Road from RUBC.
  • 8th July 1962 saw the revered RU Student Union Building demolished. The two highest ranking officials said that they did not give the orders.

    Some people reported hearing strange sounds and seeing strange images in or near the residence halls (e.g. Mandalay Hall). Some believe that there might be ghosts.
  • In 1963, there were pamphlets and Sar Saungs commemorating the anniversary of 7th July. The higher authorities gave ultimatum to the hostel students to leave.
    All classes except those from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Engineering were closed.

    The final examinations were held locally (e.g. at State High Schools).
    The schools were reopened in November 1964 under a new Education System.

  • In the mid 1960s, Nationalization and Demonetization crippled the “Rice Bowl of Asia”.
  • The use of the controversial ILA system and the 3 NRC rule created a Tier System among the Once Equal Disciplines.

    A sayagyi told his students, “If all of you go to medical and engineering, there will be not enough talent left to cover other important fields.”
  • There were some exceptions. Dr. Min Oo (in 1963) and Dr. Zaw Win (a few years later) stood Second in the whole of Burma in the Matriculation. They both chose to study Mathematics and received their Doctorates from Germany.

    Dr. Min Oo retired from a prestigious university in Canada. He earlier taught in Germany and in the US (as a visiting professor).
  • The “Burmese Way to Socialism (Despotism, Nepotism)” created Second Class and Third Class Citizens.
    Shortage of rice (unheard of in the “Rice Bowl of Asia”) caused unease. The problem was redirected to create a riot known as “Tayoke Bama Ah Yay Ah Khinn”.
  • “U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khin” in 1974 can be read in a book with rare photos.

    Htein Win Sar Pay has published books about the two Ah Yay Ah Khinn.
    Ko Khin Maung Zaw mailed me a copy of “U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khinn”.
    At the 5th ILF (Irrawaddy Literary Festival), Ko Htein Win gave me a copy of the 8-8-88 Ah Yay Ah Khinn.

  • There were several more closure of the schools.
    Many students lost three precious years of their lives (1988, 1989 and 1990).

    There were no clases, exams and Convocation for the three years.
    The 1st BE Intake of 1983 graduated in 1992.
    Those who failed the 6th BE in 1987 had to repeat again in 1991.

  • I have provided comments to the posts by Dr. Myo Thaik who witnessed the events in March and August of 1988.

    In August 1988, Dr. Tin Aung (Physics) and U Tun Aung Chain (History) were in the US as members of the Burmese Education Delegation. Dr. Tin Aung was elected (in abstentia) as a Patron / Nayaka of the “Sayas and Sayamas from All Universities and Institutes” Ah Phwesupporting the 8-8-88 movement. Upon his return to Burma, Dr. Tin Aung was “forced to resign”.

    Some time back, Dr. Tin Aung had to replace the pacemaker. His former students from Myanmar and Overseas donated for Saya’s health expenses.
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Dr. Tin Aung

Categories: Rangoon University

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