The opening ceremony for festivities to commemorate the 100th birthday of late independence hero Gen. Aung San took place on Saturday, with the number of attendees possibly reaching into the thousands at his birthplace of Natmauk in Magwe Division.
Fans of Aung San came from as far as Rangoon and Mandalay, and included National League for Democracy (NLD) officials such as veteran Tin Oo, as well as upper house Speaker Khin Aung Myint and the Magwe Division Chief Minister Phone Maw Shwe.
But local reporter Natmauktha Mwehauk said the town’s residents were disappointed that Aung San’s daughter, NLD Chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi, was absent from the event.
“The public was hoping to see Daw Suu and her absence has led to gossip that she doesn’t really care about her father’s birthplace in the same way that she reveres her mother’s hometown,” he said.
However, local NLD MP Aung Kyi Nyunt said Suu Kyi will attend the main celebrations on Friday, 13 February, to mark Aung San’s centenary in Natmauk where a monument dedicated to him will be unveiled.
The seven days of planned celebrations include exhibitions, artistic performances and poetry recitals.