Rangoon University

RU [23]


  • The group was founded on September 11, 2019.
  • There are 14 founding members.
  • As of October 6, 2019, there are 3000 members.
  • There are close to 4000 posts.
  • In the past few days, there are 100+ daily posts, several shares and many comments.
  • It is difficult if not impossible to read all the posts and discussions.
  • As time and energy permit, I am posting new Overviews and updating old Overviews.
  • I am a Life Long Learner. I am glad to learn new information from the posts and the references.

There are 30000+ members.

U Po Kya / Phyo Kyar

  • Attended regular and monastic schools while serving as an Assistant Teacher.
  • Completed a Teachers Training Certificate.
  • Worked as a Tally Clerk, but his intense desire to have higher education led him to become a “Kyaung Tha Gyi” at Judson College in his late 20s.
  • On November 30, 1920 there were two meetings.
    At one meeting, Mr. Matthew Hunter, Principal of Rangoon College, announced that the Rangoon University Act of 1920 will be implemented the following day (on December 1, 1920).
    At another meeting at the Jubilee Hall, College students proposed to protest the Act. The “Kyaung Tha Gyis” tried to soften the stand of their young energetic colleagues, but they finally gave in and lead the protests.
    The Strike was scheduled for December 7, 1920, but the news leaked out to the higher authorities.
    So, the Strike was rescheduled for December 5, 1920.
    U Po Kya was not only a member of the strike, but he went on to support the National Schools and serve as “Amyotha Pyinnya Wun“.
  • During his College days, he studied under the outstanding Burmese and Pali Scholars.
    Received his BA degree in 1922.
    Wrote several books including “Myanmar Gon Yi” and a collection of short stories (e.g. Volunteer Coolie for a Kyaung Tha). Some were prescribed as text book for schools.
  • Sad to learn that he passed away at the tender age of 51 due to malaria.
  • Many years ago, I met U Zaw Win Kya (son of U Po Kya) at Ava House where he was in charge of text books and publications.

Amyotha Aung Pwe Nay (National Day) uses the Burmese date (10th waning day of Tazaungmon).

A marble stone on Shwe Dagon Pagoda has the names of the 11 students who led the First RU Students’ Strike.

1920s and 1930s

  • Dr. Saw Mra Aung’s account of “Rangoon University in the 1920s” can be Googled on the Internet.
  • The early hostels were not inside the Campus.
    Took time and money to transform the “Nar Nat Taw” and its vicinity into hostels and additional class rooms.
    Hostel students had to guard themselves against mosquitoes and intruders (from nearby quarters).
  • Students in the early days include “Chit Dukkha” U Ba Nyunt (later Professor of History, father of Win Oo), U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and U Wun (Minthuwun).
  • U Nyo (Chauk Htutt Kyee Phaya Daga) was a philanthropist.
    His donations funded the Rangoon University Student Union Building and several buildings in the RU Estate.
    He also helped build the Club House for RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club, which was founded by Law Professor Sir Arthur Eggar).
  • Chan Mah Phee and Daw Aye Mya were philanthropists.
    Their donations include a hospital (Chan Mah Phee Say Yone in Ahlone), Hwa Kyone school, and a Tazaung in Shwe Dagon.
    Their second son, Chan Chor Khine served as a member of the RU Council, and helped build the RU Gymnasium in memory of his beloved parents.
  • In 1936, U Nu was elected as President of Ta Ka Ta (Tekkatho Kyaung Tha Thumagga), M.A. Raschid (father of Saya Bilal) as Vice President and Bogyoke Aung San as Secretary.
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Bogyoke Aung San
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Boygyoke’s Translation of “Invictus”
  • In 1936, the Second RU Student Strike took place.
    The post has a photo showing U Saw Ba Hein (father of Dr. Daisy and Dr. Edwin), Ludu Daw Amar (Ah Mar), MA Daw Ohn and several more carrying the Banner.
  • In 1937, M.A. Raschid became President of Ta Ka Tha and also Ba Ka Tha. He would later serve as Minister in the Cabinets led by Prime Minister U Nu.
  • In 1938, Bogyoke Aung San (Editor of Oway) was expelled, because he refused to disclose the identity of the author of “Hell Hound at large”.
    The Third RU Student Strike took place.
    Ko Aung Kyaw was struck by a baton and perished. He was named Bo Aung Kyaw and the Sparks Street was renamed as Bo Aung Kyaw Street.
  • The Student Union nurtured many students to lead the Independence Movement and to run the democratic Union of Burma.

Dark Moments

  • There were many Dark Moments during the Adhamma regime starting with indiscriminate shooting on July 7, 1962 and the demolition of the RU Student Union Building on July 8, 1962.
  • The anniversary of July 7 (in 1963) saw posters and publications condemning the atrocities.
  • The authorities decided to close the universities (with the exception of Medicine and Engineering).
  • A new Education System was established in November 1964.
  • The Universities and Institutes were closed several times citing Security Concerns.
    Several students lost their lives in U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khin and 8-8-88
  • It took only a few years (if not a few months) to transform the “Rice Bowl of Asia” into LDC (Least Developed Country) and a highly revered Education System into one that promotes rote learning instead of rational and creative thinking (as implied by the term Tekkatho (Tekkathila or Tekka Sila).
  • Students were dispersed (some to remote places without proper facilities).
    Some teachers and students had to commute daily for two hours (or so).
    Many have to arrange for their transportation.


  • RU and its children are resilient.
  • They survived to usher in the “Pwint Linn” Era.
  • Untold stories and hitherto unseen photos can now be seen in the posts.
  • Many can forgive but not forget the dark moments in history.
  • Khun Sai (founding member of the RU Centennial Group) was a medical student during the “U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khin”.
    For his involvement, he was debarred.
    He has posted memories of the Ah Yay Ah Khin.
  • For three years (1988 – 1990), RU and the Institutes were closed.
    There were no Convocations after 1987 and before 1991.

Saya Pu Zaw Pwe

  • Saya Pu Zaw Pwe (SPZP) is a noble tradition.
  • In October 2000, I was honored to be an organizer for a SPZP (in a land far away).
  • I wrote “SAYA PUZAW PWE”.
  • Each line starts with corresponding letter from “SAYA PUZAW PWE”.
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Poem for SPZP-2000

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Categories: Rangoon University

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