A CHILD WAITS OUTSIDE THE MAUSOLEUM ON MARTYRS' DAY. PHOTO: FINANCIAL TIMES/EPA

A child waits outside the mausoleum on Martyrs' day. Photo: Financial Times/EPA

Martyrs’ Day a wake-up call

27 July 2016

For the first time, it was held under a National League for Democracy-backed government. After several decades of absence, it was also the first time the commander-in-chief attended.

And, for the first time since 1988, this Martyrs’ Day people heard the sound of sirens and stood still at 10:37am, when the martyrs were assassinated in 1947. For two minutes, people of all faiths, races and ideologies united under one siren call.

But most importantly, this year’s Martyrs’ Day was a wake-up call for national reconciliation in Myanmar.

Martyrs’ Day is not just about remembering Bogyoke Aung San and the eight other fallen independence heroes. It has always been an important act of political symbolism. Paying respect and laying wreaths for those killed that day is a core tradition in Myanmar. So layered in symbolism is it, that it was the target of a terrorist attack in 1983 that killed, among others, four South Korean senior cabinet ministers.

Read Martyrs’ Day a wake-up call by Chit Win published in New Mandala.

Tags: Myanmar, Chit Win

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team