Unforgettable 19 July and the future of Myanmar

  • By Maung Sar Ga

220px Aung San color portrait copy

July 19 is just around the corner, and we all are prepared to observe the day of remembrance for the fallen Martyrs. The dreadful and darkest day of the assassinations occurred 71 years ago, and it is important that we remember, recall, emulate, and commemorate this day for Bogyoke Aung San.

Where was Bogyoke born?
The architect of our country’s independence, Bogyoke Aung San was born in Natmauk Town in Magway Region on 13 February 1915, of his father U Phar and mother Daw Suu. His grandfather was Bo Minn Yaung, a hero warrior who fought against the imperialists.

When did Bogyoke die?

Bogyoke was gunned down on 19 July 1947, 71)years ago. He was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy of the lackeys of the imperialists.

The article’s author

The author of this article was born in a village in Upper Myanmar after the regretful assignation of Bogyoke, and therefore, I have never seen Bogyoke in my life, but he is always on my mind.

Younger days
Growing up to a certain age to memorise events and things, I started to note down the extraordinary life of Bogyoke Aug San. At bedtime, my Mom sang various lullabies that include profuse tribute to Bogyoke with accolades, praise and commendation. My Dad tirelessly explained to me about the fine characteristics of Bogyoke. That was why; Bogyoke is always in my heart.

At Primary School

I have learnt by heart on a poem that includes his date of birth February 13; year of birth 1915; father’s name Lawyer U Phar; place of birth Natmauk Town in Magway District; and his mother’s name Daw Suu.
Annually, the 19th of July is a public holiday, and schools are closed as we observed Martyrs’ Day for the fallen leaders. The significant day was marked as Martyrs’ Day because Bogyoke Aung San and other Arzarni leaders were assassinated on that gloomy day, which I remembered well.
On each and every Martyr’s Day, the principal of our school Sayar Gyee U Thar Tin, lectured about Bogyoke Aung San and other Arzarni leaders. Our principal recounted that he took part in the independence struggle and had the opportunity to chat with Bogyoke Aung San. He also talked about the speeches of Bogyoke and blinked his eyes in tears. I can still visualise these events to thisday.

Student life at middle school, high school and university
More information about Bogyoke is heard of his time at middle school, high school and university. I had to practice and learn by heart about the Panglong Agreement; the Aung San-Atlee Agreement; and Arzarni Day to enable me to participate in essay competitions, and also to deliver speeches at Arzarni Day memorial events.
Moreover, I have been engaged in activities such as reading books on Bogyoke; paying homage at the Shwedagon Pagoda; and visiting the Martyrs’ Memorial and Bogyoke Museum (Yangon); studying at the Panglong pillar in Taunggyi; and listening to Bogyoke speeches aired from the radio. There are memorial celebrations everywhere across the country.

At the work place

After graduation, the author of this article worked as a government employee in various capacities and finally stepped up to the senior officer level. Therefore, I have had the opportunity in arranging the memorial events of Martyrs’ Day. I am happy for that.

To hand down as legacy

After marriage, my wife and I raised kids, and my wife sang lullabies about Bogyoke. I explained the life story of Bogyoke. I am very much delighted on the eve of the 71st anniversary of Arzarni Day, because a lot of articles on Bogyoke appeared in the newspapers every day. Even my grandson asked me to show him the article about Bogyoke in the newspapers.
At the age of 20, Bogyoke became a student leader and then served in various capacities in the struggle for independence, and finally became the founder of the Myanma Tatmadaw and the architect of Myanma Independence.
Bogyoke has numerous outstanding characteristics, such as that of trustworthiness, honesty, sacrifice, unselfishness, austerity, working for others, of heroic mind, patriotic, single-minded aim for independence, hard working, diligent, forging, spread loving-kindness, faithful, good organizer, good leadership, and much more. That was why all the people honoured and respected Bogyoke.
My grandson paid attention in the stories of Bogyoke with much interest. On my part, the old stories became fresh in my mind.

Old story become new saga

Bogyoke was assassinated 71 years ago, but his legend remains still fresh and all the memorable things have resulted in new efforts such as the renovated Bogyoke Museums in Yangon and Natmauk; more solid Panglong Pillar in Shan State; renovated Martyrs’ Mausoleum; and Bogyoke speeches which are heard again. All these happenings bring us new strength.
His speeches still inspire the entire citizenry to this day.
Some of the extracts are translated as follows.
“All citizens need to remain united with discipline. Despite the negative intervention and interference of others, the people must never ever lose sight of the goal.”
“For the prosperity of the whole nation, we must pour out our energy, strength and must work together. If the national races such as Bamar, Kayin, Shan, Kachin, Chin and etc are going wayward of their own, we would have no benefits. We must work together.”

Looking ahead to the future

Compared to other countries in the region and the international arena, the ground reality of development of our nation is left behind in many aspects.
As of today, we are on the path of a democratic system, and that if we are genuinely desirous to come on a par with other counties, all the national races and brethren must build peace and harmony. We must have firm conviction and move forward into a right direction with identical viewpoint. We must work hard to enable us to leave a good legacy to the next generation and posterity.
Here, the author would like pay tribute by sharing the opinion of Bogyoke that appeared in Oway Magazine
printed in 1947.
He was of the view that we must create and train ourselves to dance with the tune of international song on the global stage and elevated our nation into independence and developed status. We all must fulfill our duties irrespective of profession whether soldier, politician, writer, media person and the rest and must act in tune with the changing of time on the world stage.
In conclusion, the author wishes for the construction of trust building; for eternal peace and prosperity; and for the creation of a new road map to better living.

Translated by UMT (HK)

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