Today, July 19, is one of Burma’s most important national holidays. Martyrs’ Day is called Azani Nay (အာဇာနည္ေန ့) in Burmese (Azani is Pali-derived word for martyr). It commemorates the day in 1947 nine prominent men, namely Aung San, Thakhin Mya, U Ba Cho, U Abdul Razak, U Ba Win, Saopha Sao San Tun, Mahn Ba Khaing, U Ohn Maung, and Maung Htwe were assassinated for political reasons. Among the murdered were seven cabinet members, Aung San’s bodyguard Maung Htwe and a cabinet secretary (U Ohn Maung).
Traditionally, wreaths are laid at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Rangoon, by government officials and relatives of the martyrs. According to The Irrawaddy, this year, as in the past years, Aung San Suu Kyi was unable to attend the ceremony and lay wreaths for her father.