Lessons from Martyrs’ Day

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  • At the conference of the Pha-Sa-Pa-La (Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom) League on the middle platform of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on 20 January, 1946, Bogyoke Aung San delivered a historic speech on politics.
    In his speech, he said politics was not a dirty game, but some persons entered politics and muddied it.
    Seventy-two years ago today, the architect of our independence, Bogyoke Aung San, and his colleagues were assassinated by a group of armed men manipulated by a dirty politician, and fell prey to ugly politics while struggling for independence on behalf of the country and its people.
    The assassination shows how the image of politics can be tarnished by unscrupulous politicians.
    The actions of politicians were on the same plane as those of the assassins, and they sent our country into a ruinous decline.
    The assassination of the national leaders reminds us of their sacrifice for the country, and we must be inspired by this spirit of martyrdom. Besides, the new generation must understand why inhuman acts to seize political power, use of arms, and actions that can precipitate the ruin of the country must be rejected.
    The spirit of martyrdom is simple. A martyr is someone who prioritises the people’s interests and subordinates personal interests. Martyrs devote themselves entirely to the welfare of the people and the country, even at the cost of their own lives.
    No one can profit from deeds that do not benefit other people. From this point of view, we must always prioritise people’s interests.
    The people determine who should be called a martyr, and what kind of person should be accepted as a martyr. Therefore, Martyrs’ Day concerns the people.
    When remembering the martyrs, some people cherish dreams of becoming well-known and famous like the martyrs, but they are unwilling to struggle and face the same difficulties. Others take lessons from history.
    On this Martyrs’ Day, we would like to ask youths to use their time in the most valuable way, and remember the martyrs’ real desires, instead of simply grieving for them, like everyone else.
    Martyrs’ Day was born of the people. We wish all the people remember this. Essentially, the people decide a country’s destiny.
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