U Thant Incident
- (1974)After former UN Secretary-General U Thant died in November 1974, President Ne Win denied him a formal state funeral, ordering that his body be buried at the Rangoon (Yangon) city cemetery at Kyandaw. U Thant was a close associate of U Nu, the former prime minister who led an antiregime movement based in Thailand between 1969 and 1973. Ne Win also apparently begrudged U Thant the international stature he enjoyed. Thousands of people came to the Kyaikkasan grounds in Rangoon to pay respects to his remains, and on December 5, 1974, university students took possession of his coffin, bringing it to the Main Campus of Rangoon (Yangon) University. It was housed in the Convocation Hall, where tens of thousands came to pay respects and Buddhist monks offered chants.Negotiations between the government and students might have prevented a confrontation. Ne Win conceded that U Thant's remains could be buried in a cemetery park near the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. But militant students took control of the situation, constructing a mausoleum for the late secretary-general on the site of the demolished Rangoon University Students' Union building. It became the focus for intense antiregime protest, including speeches critical of Ne Win. Threatened by what seemed to be a popular as well as student uprising, Ne Win ordered the Tatmadaw to storm the campus in the early morning of December 11. They seized the coffin, which was buried at the site near the Shwe Dagon, and killed an undetermined number of students. Many other students were arrested. Demonstrations and riots broke out around the city, and the authorities reportedly killed hundreds of protesters. The U Thant incident was the largest example of student militancy since the July 7, 1962 incident. In many ways, it was a precursor of Democracy Summer and the protests in early 1988 that led up to it.See also Labor Strikes.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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Bibliography — CONTENTS Introduction 488 I. General 493 1. Bibliographies and Research Guides 493 2. Directories, Handbooks, Statistical Abstracts, and Yearbooks 494 3. Guides 494 4. Travel and Description 494 II. History 496 1.… … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Introduction — When Burma (Myanmar) achieved independence from British colonial rule in 1948, many observers viewed it with its high standards of education and abundant natural resources as one of the Asian countries most likely to achieve economic… … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Chronology — Prehistory and Early History to 1000 CE ♦ ca. 10,000 BCE 6,000 BCE Neolithic wall paintings appear in Padhalin Cave, Shan State. ♦ 563 BCE 483 BCE Gotama Buddha s lifetime, which according to Burmese legend witnessed construction of Shwe Dagon … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Students, Historical Role of — Beginning in the early 20th century, university and high school students played an active and sometimes leading role in struggles against British colonial rule. Following independence in 1948, they organized opposition movements against the… … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Military Intelligence — (MI) The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has operated an extensive military intelligence apparatus that not only provided the Tatmadaw (armed forces) with reliable information on conventional national security matters the task of … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Tin U, Nld — (1927 ) Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and a prominent opposition leader, Tin U served as Tatmadaw chief of staff and defense minister from 1974 to 1976. He was dismissed in March 1976 on charges of dealing in the black … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
Education, Higher — Before the establishment of Rangoon (Yangon) University (RU) by the British colonial authorities in 1920, students could only pursue higher education at Rangoon College and Judson College (the latter being a Baptist missionary institution) and … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
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