Aung San was a Burmese politician, independence activist and revolutionary.
66 Facts About Aung San
Aung San was instrumental in Myanmar's struggle for independence from British rule, but he was assassinated just six months before his goal was realized.
Aung San was a life-long anti-imperialist and studied socialism as a student.
Aung San joined the Thakin Society in 1938 and served as its general secretary.
Aung San helped establish the Communist Party of Burma in 1939 but quit shortly afterwards due to vehement disagreements with the rest of the party leadership.
Aung San subsequently co-founded the People's Revolutionary Party with the primary goal of Burmese independence from the British.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Aung San fled Burma and went to China to solicit foreign support for Burmese independence.
Aung San served as the 5th Premier of the British Crown Colony of Burma from 1946 to 1947.
Aung San led his party, the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League, to victory in the 1947 Burmese general election, but he and most of his cabinet were assassinated shortly before the country became independent.
Aung San's daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, is a stateswoman, politician, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Aung San was Burma's State Counsellor and its 20th Minister of Foreign Affairs in Win Myint's Cabinet until the 2021 Myanmar coup d'etat.
Aung San was born in Natmauk, Magway District, on 13 February 1915 during the British Raj.
Aung San was the youngest of nine siblings; he had three older sisters and five older brothers.
Aung San's name was given to him by his brother Aung Than.
Aung San received his primary education at a Buddhist monastic school in Natmauk, but he moved to Yenangyaung in grade 4 because his eldest brother, Ba Win, had become the principal of the high school there.
Aung San later became friends with U Thant through their mutual friendship with U Nu.
Aung San was elected to the executive committee of the Rangoon University Students' Union.
Aung San then became editor of the RUSU's magazine Oway.
Aung San was described by contemporary students as being charismatic and keenly interested in politics.
Aung San served in his first student leadership positions, first as secretary of the student boycott council and second as the student representative for the government's University Act Amendment Committee, which the government formed in response to the strike.
In October 1938, Aung San left his law classes and entered national politics.
Aung San became a Thakin when he joined the Dobama Asiayone.
Aung San acted as its general secretary until August 1940.
Aung San later claimed that his relationship with the CPB was not smooth, since he joined and left the party twice.
Shortly after founding the CPB, Aung San founded a similar organization, alternatively known as either the "People's Revolutionary Party" or the "Burma Revolutionary Party".
Aung San was not paid for most of his work as a student or political leader, and lived for most of this time in a state of poverty.
Aung San was recognized by his peers for his strong work ethic and organizational skills, but was sometimes criticized by them for having poor public relations skills or for a perceived arrogance.
Aung San never drank alcohol and abstained from romantic relationships.
Dr Ba Maw served as the anarshin of the Freedom Bloc, while Aung San worked under him as the group's general secretary.
In 1939, Aung San was briefly arrested on the grounds of conspiring to overthrow the government by force, but was released after seventeen days.
Some of Aung San's colleagues advised him to go to the Shanghai International Settlement and make contact with communist agents there, but he was in a hurry to leave and was unable to find passage on a ship travelling to that city.
Aung San spent the rest of 1940 in Tokyo, learning the Japanese language and political ideology.
In February 1941 Aung San, working with Japanese intelligence, left Hla Myaing in Bangkok and secretly re-entered Burma and began efforts to contact and recruit additional Burmese agents to work with the Japanese.
Aung San entered the colony secretly through the port of Bassein, changed into a longyi, and booked a train to Rangoon using a pseudonym.
Aung San was made a colonel and put in charge of the force.
Aung San was later invited back to Japan, and was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun by Emperor Hirohito.
Aung San was made the second most powerful person in the government.
The army, still under the control of Aung San, took their motto, "One Blood, One Voice, One Command" at this time.
Aung San organized a secret meeting in Bago between the Burma National Army, the Communist Party of Burma, and the People's Revolutionary Party.
In late March 1945, as Allied forces advanced towards Rangoon, Aung San led the BNA in a parade in front of Government House in Rangoon, after which they were sent by the Japanese to the front.
Aung San was given command of the first region, comprising the areas of Prome, Henzada, Tharrawaddy, and Insein.
Aung San's designated political advisor was Thakin Ba Hein, a Communist Party leader.
Aung San first met with General Bill Slim on 16 May 1945, appearing unexpectedly in Slim's camp in the uniform of a Japanese major general.
At the meeting Aung San stated his intentions to ally with the British until the Japanese had been driven out of Burma, and agreed to incorporate his forces into Slim's British-led army.
Aung San was not invited to negotiate, since the British Governor General, Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith, was debating whether he should be put on trial for his role in the public execution of a Muslim headman in Thaton during the war.
Aung San wrote to U Seinda in Arakan, saying that he supported U Seida's guerrilla fight against the British, but that he would cooperate with them for tactical reasons.
Aung San agreed to appoint Aung San to the position of counselor for defense on the Executive Council.
On 28 September 1946, Aung San was appointed to the even higher position of deputy chairman, making him effectively the 5th Prime Minister of the British-Burma Crown Colony.
Aung San had at first worked closely with the Communist Party of Burma, but after they began criticizing him for working with the British he banned all communists from his Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League on 3 November 1946.
Aung San was to all intents and purposes Prime Minister, although he was still subject to a British veto.
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee invited Aung San to visit London in 1947 in order to negotiate the conditions of Burmese independence.
Aung San concluded that he hoped for the best, but was prepared for the worst.
Aung San arrived in Britain by air in January 1947 along with his deputy Tin Tut, who he considered his brightest official.
The agreement was not unanimous: two other delegates who attended the conference, U Saw and Thakin Ba Sein, refused to sign it, and it was denounced in Burma by Aung San's critics, including Than Tun and Thakin Soe.
Two weeks after the signing of the agreement with Britain, Aung San signed an agreement at the second Panglong Conference on 12 February 1947, with leaders representing the Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples.
Since they ran virtually unopposed, every delegate in Aung San's party was elected.
In early 1946, approximately a year before his death, Aung San complained to Dorman-Smith that he felt melancholic, that he did not feel close to his old friends in the Burmese military, that he had many enemies, and that he was worried that someone would attempt to assassinate him soon.
Aung San identified the officer responsible for selling the arms as Major Lance Dane, but claimed that Dane and his associates were later "secretly released" after being imprisoned.
Kin Oung claimed that the name of one of Aung San's assassins was "Yan Gyi Aung".
Aung San had a reputation for having a gentle and soft personality.
Some sources have reported Bo Min Yaung's relationship to Aung San differently, claiming that he was Aung San's paternal grandfather, rather than his paternal grandmother's cousin.
Aung San's name had been invoked by successive Burmese governments since independence, until the military regime in the 1990s tried to eradicate all traces of Aung San's memory.
The Burmese military justified the legitimacy of their government partially by citing the legacy of Aung San in leading the country in WWII, when he was both a military and political leader.
Banknotes featuring Aung San were first produced in 1958, ten years after his assassination.
The new 1,000-kyat notes bearing Aung San's image were produced and released to the public on 4 January 2020, a date chosen to mark the 72nd anniversary of Independence Day.
Aung San's oldest son, Aung San Oo, is an engineer working in the United States who has disagreed with his sister's political activities.