Shwegu

27

Nov
2021

Inya Lake

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The main source of water for the city of Yangon, Inya Lake is a sprawling reservoir originally laid out by the British in 1882 beyond what was then the northern edge of the city, but which has long since been  subsumed by residential neigh- borhoods. Lying approximately  6 miles (10 km) from the down- town area, Inya Lake is the site  of the city’s university campus, the US Embassy, and a string of exclusive waterfront properties.  Among the last are the resi- dence of General Ne Win and  the much­photographed home of Aung San Suu Kyi, where she spent many years under house arrest prior to her release in 2010. Her resi dence was one of many built to accommodate high­ranking British officials in the colonial era, and which now constitute some of Southeast Asia’s most valuable real estate. Yangon University’s campus  once held classes for all cate- gories of students, although it  is almost empty today. Only grad u ate studies are conducted  here, with undergraduates hav- ing been dispersed in the 1990s  to newer institutions on the fringes of the city to disrupt possible student activism. Lining the southern shore of the lake near the university is the 37­acre (15­ha) Inya Lake Park with floral displays set out on sloping embankments. Featured in countless Burmese movies, the location is a favorite with young couples and has long been emblematic of love and romance in the popular imagi na tion. In stark contrast, the White Bridge (Tada Phyu),  For hotels and restaurants in this region see p202 and pp210–11  abutting the western shore of the lake, is synonymous with the brutal ity of the military government. In March 1988, hundreds of student protesters were gunned down or drowned by security police after being trapped between barbed wire barri cades, the lake, and nearby houses. This incident fueled  support for nationwide demon- strations and the start of the  8888 Uprising a few months later (so named because it took place on August 8, 1988). The tragedy is com mem o rated by Burmese dissi dents as Red Bridge Day, referring to the blood which is said to have stained the walkway.

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