Saturday, November 01, 2014

Important interview by BBCs Andrew Whitehead of U Ba Aye, my late cousin, who was assigned to investigate the Aung San assassinations of 1947

Growing up, Ko Ko Aye was always talking about how they broke into U Saw's house (as part of the investigation) and how they found the guns submerged in the water of Inya Lake--and I/we would always say, "You must write it down."  About 4? years ago he published a book in Burmese, very thick, abt 700 pages, but I have not read the book.  It was prepared with the help of a professional writer and at least one person who has read the book says he likes it.

I am sorry I did not pay much attention, but then important people. such as Gen Ne Win and Dr Maung Maung, his biographer, were always coming to the house, and I was a child and later a teenager who made up my own mind about things.  For instance I made up my mind about NW's character when he came to see my father using the back lane, and threw his revolver under his chair, when I was 11-12 and my nanny nudged me in the kitchen and said "Bogyoke NW is here, and he has a gun."  No one else had a gun, and I had to peek in sideways from the corridor, so I hardly saw the revolver or U NW's face and I cld not stick around and listen to what they were saying.

My father wanted me to ask him questions, like Indira Gandhi asked her father Nehru, and he (Daddy) would answer them, and once or twice he would complain "Politics may be getting so dirty that good people will not want to be part of it."  But it was about 1955, and I was not politically aware.  I became so after the 1962 coup, when my mother would talk about things at home.  And I only had a chance to think about Burma when I was overseas, 8 months in Poland in 1968-69 and then in 80s to now, in the USA.  My all consuming interest in Pol Sci or Pol Economy (of countries with totalitarian systems like Burma) began only in Poland, in Burma and in Philadelphia from the early eighties. 

So anyway, I am glad U Ba Aye spoke to BBC and his book got written and published.

There is also a BBC interview of one of the British police officers who came to the Secretariat Building as soon as the mass assassination of Aung San and his cabinet took place.  I cannot find it now, but this man, interviewed in UK, remarked on the amount of blood and gore in the meeting room, as everyone was shot at very close range.  U Soe Saing also told us of rushing from Theingy Zay (Bazaar) to the Secretariat and hearing the sound of the bloody corpses being dragged down the stairs.
Another one of those blood baths of Burmese history that we should be ashamed of.


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