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A Veteran Burmese Politician Passes Away - 2004-11-11


Bo Hmu Aung, an oldest member of the legendary Burma's independence heroes -- the Thirty Comrades -- in the same league with the late Generals Aung San and Ne Win passed away in Rangoon on November 9

Born in Kyauktaga, Pegu Division, in 1910, Ko San Hlaing had had a glowing political career. As a member of the nationalist Dobama Asiayone, Thakin San Hlaing, attended a Japanese military training course along with his other comrades in Hainan and Taiwan where he adopted a Japanese name Omura Tadashi, as was then neccessary. Then in Bangkok, Thailand, he was known as Bohmu Aung when the members of the Thirty Comrades took up military titles.

He took part in both the Burma Independence Army and later the Burma Defense Army as a commander of the Fifth Brigade. Bohmu Aung served well in resisting the Japanese occupation of Burma during the Second World War.

He became Vice President of the People's Volunteer Army in 1945 and a member of the Constituent Assembly of Burma on the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League ticket from Thayet township in 1947.

Bohmu Aung assumed the portfolios of National Reconstruction (1948-49), Transport and Communications and Defense as a minister (1960-1962).

After the 1962 military coup of General Ne Win, Bohmu Aung joined forces with the late Prime Minister U Nu in the Parliamentary Democracy Party in Thailand. In 1980 he returned to Burma on the military government's amnesty order.

During the 1988 pro-democary mass uprising in Burma, Bohmu Aung became Vice President and later President of the Democracy and Peace Party. In his capacity as Vice President of DPP, he wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for military help when the Burmese army launched a military coup and installed a government called the State Law and Order Restoration Council.

His former political colleagues and friends describe Bohmu Aung as patriotic, humble and unselfish.

Bohmu Aung was 95 when he died of old age, after a month-long illness. Up to his last moment, he has been a formidable voice advocating for national reciliation in Burma.

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