Myanmar marks the 75th anniversary of the murder of its founding father
BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s military-led government and its opponents on Tuesday marked the 75th anniversary of the assassination of independence hero General Aung San, father of the country’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Scattered pro-democracy rallies were held in cities across the country on Tuesday to commemorate Aung San, six Cabinet colleagues and two other officials who were killed 75 years ago during a Cabinet meeting less than six months ago. before the country, then called Burma, obtained its independence. of British colonial rule.
Aung San was 32 when he was shot dead by a group of uniformed gunmen in the secretariat office in Yangon, the country’s largest city. A political rival, former Prime Minister U Saw, was tried and hanged for plotting this political assassination.
Tuesday’s demonstrations, usually dispersed in a short time to avoid clashes with security forces, also paid tribute to those who died protesting the military coup in February last year that overthrown Suu Kyi and her elected government.
In Yangon, neighborhoods heard howling sirens and car horns blared for a minute at 10:37 a.m., the time of the 1947 attack.
Photos and videos on social media showed protesters carrying banners and chanting « Eradicate racism, there are more than nine martyrs » in Yangon.
As of Monday, 2,091 civilians, including poets, activists, politicians and others, had been killed by security forces since February 2021, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.
An official memorial ceremony was held, as every year, at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon, near the foot of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
The historic secretariat building where the attack took place and the Bogyoke Aung San Museum, the last residence of Aung San and her family just before her assassination, which had been closed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic , have been reopened to the public under strict safety protocols.
Residents who live near the memorials said security was tight and no visitors were found coming to pay their respects on nearby roads, saying the scenes were very different from those at Suu Kyi’s government.
Neither Suu Kyi, who is under arrest, nor Chief General Min Aung Hlaing, who currently leads his government and ruling military council, attended the ceremony this year. Senior Vice General Soe Win, vice chairman of the military council, was the highest ranking official present. A ceremony subcommittee official laid a wreath on behalf of Suu Kyi’s family.
Suu Kyi, 77, who was arrested when Burma’s military seized power from her elected government in February last year, has not been seen in public except for a photo released to the state television in May 2021, taken inside a court at the start of the criminal proceedings against her.
Suu Kyi was sentenced to 11 years in prison and moved from a secret detention facility to a purpose-built isolation facility at a prison in the capital Naypyitaw last month.
She is currently on trial for a series of court cases brought by the military in a new facility built within the same prison complex. Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts say all the charges against her are politically motivated and an attempt to discredit her and legitimize the military’s takeover.
The opposition National Unity Government, which was established by elected lawmakers and sees itself as the country’s legitimate administrative body, live-streamed the commemoration ceremony on social media. The army has labeled the NUG a terrorist organization.
Mahn Winn Khaing Thann, Prime Minister of the NUG, promised to fight the army alongside the people until the revolution succeeds.
« I would like to reiterate that the entire ethnic population, including monks, students and young people, can exercise their freedom of choice and fully enjoy their rights only after ending the military dictatorship and prospering the federal democratic system, » he said. « Therefore, I would like to pledge that we will work hard until the success of the Spring Revolution we are carrying out with the people. »
The Associated Press