General Aung San and his colleagues were assassinated exactly 71 years ago while holding a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat Building in Yangon, casting a pall over our country as gloomy as the rainy season sky.
The tragedy occurred at a time when Myanmar was assured of independence through the relentless efforts of General Aung San and other national leaders. The assassination of General Aung San and other leaders was one of the ugliest incidents in Myanmar’s history and an incalculable loss for the country and its people.
On this 19 July, the whole country mourns the country’s martyrs. Our martyrs have gone, but their memory, their love for the country and the people and their sacrifices for Myanmar will live forever, along with our gratitude to them.
In fact, that day taught the country and its people a precious lesson, that a violent approach to political issues never works, and peaceful negotiation is the best way to find solutions to political issues.
The day is also a reminder to the people of the democratic goal set by General Aung San, who would want us to keep on marching towards this goal. This is the right way to honour and respect our martyrs.
“The birth of the best of men, the martyr, is very rare; such a person is not born every day. When such a wise hero is born, the entire clan flourishes in happiness,” says a verse from the teachings of the Buddha.
The spirit of martyrdom is very simple. A martyr is someone who devoted his or her life for the people and abandons personal interest. From this point of view, we should always remain devoted to the interests of the country and the people.
Who is a martyr? People determine who should be considered a martyr. Martyrs’ Day was born of the people. We wish all the people will be aware of this.
Whatever your religion, ethnicity or political persuasion, this is a day for all of us to come together to honour those who laid the groundwork for Myanmar’s independence.