Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was joined by the vice-president and other MPs in commemorating Martyrs’ Day at a Rangoon memorial on Saturday morning.
It was 67 years ago on 19 July that Suu Kyi’s father, Gen. Aung San, and seven other independence heroes – Thakin Mya, Ba Cho, Abdul Razak, Ba Win, Mahn Ba Khaing, Sao San Tun and Ohn Maung – were assassinated at the Secretariat building in central Rangoon.
Family members of the seven other martyrs also paid respect at a ceremony in front of the Martyrs Mausoleum.
Vice-president Sai Mauk Kham, Chairman of Union Parliament Shwe Mann, Chairman of Upper House Khin Aung Myint and senior judge Tun Tun Oo also paid homage.
A similar event was held in Burma’s capital, Naypyidaw, where President Thein Sein hosted Buddhist monks, Commander-in-chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, Union Election Commission Chairman Tin Aye, Union ministers, senior military officials, and representatives of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the National League for Democracy and the National Unity Party.
To traditionally commemorate the event, sirens are sounded across the country at 10:37 am, the exact time on 19 July 1947 that the eight cabinet members were gunned down.
Cars on the street in cities and towns all over Burma sounded their horns at the same time as a mark of respect.
In Mandalay, where a curfew is in place following recent anti-Muslim riots, police blocked marchers seeking to commemorate Martyrs Day on Saturday morning, but later allowed them to pay respect at the Aung San Statue in Manawyaman Garden.