Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps

President Sao Shwe Theik

The 1948 Government of Burma Was Genuinely Multi-Ethnic

August 1948: With communist ("White Flag" and "Red Flag") PVO, and "Mujahideen" insurrections in full swing, President Sao Shwe Thaik and Army Chief General Smith Dun inspect the troops in front of the Rangoon Corporation building. Martial law had just been declared. At the time, Karen, Kachin, and Chin battalions were fighting Burmese communist and PVO militias up and down the Irrawaddy valley. It was also a time (the only time) when the government of Burma was genuinely multi-ethnic, with...

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Photograph of Lunch Hosted by President Sao Shwe Thaik in 1949

In 1949, President Sao Shwe Thaik hosts a lunch at Government House in Rangoon. The civil war was then at its height, with the Burma Army battling to regain control of Insein, Twante, Bassein, Henzada, Toungoo, Prome, Mandalay and Maymyo and many other towns from the KNDO, PVOs, Communists, Mujahideen, and others. Peace talks with the KNU had just broken down the day before and in a few days time, WW2 hero Naw Seng with an irregular column would strike...

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The Day Myanmar Democracy Died

On 2 March 1962 beginning at 2 am units of the Burma Army seized control of the Secretariat, the Windermere Estate, the guest house at Halpin Road, and other important government sites. President Mahn Win Maung, Prime Minister U Nu, all members of the cabinet and many other senior political figures including leading Shan sawbwas were arrested over the day. Sao Myee Myee, the 17-year-old son of the first President Sao Shwe Thaik was killed before dawn during the takeover...

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