Upali Thein

27

Nov
2021

Martyrs’ Mausoleum

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In a wooded park just north of the Shwedagon Pagoda, on the far side of Arzani Street, stands the Martyrs’ Mausoleum. It was erected in honor of General Aung San, the first leader of independent Burma, and six of his ministerial colleagues, who were assassinated while holding a cabinet meeting of the interim government in 1947. Each year on July 19, the anniversary of the attack, the country’s leaders gather in the park to lay wreaths at the curved red wall on its southern side. General Aung San’s daughter, pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has attended the ceremony since her release from house arrest in 2010. She was only two years old at the time of her father’s death; he was 32. The gunmen, along with U Saw, the rival politician who allegedly masterminded the killings, were captured and hanged the following year. Other than the iconic red wall, set on a raised marble terrace amid manicured lawns and land scaped grounds, there is little to see here, although the site is an atmospheric one.

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