Spirit of University Student Union will last forever

Spirit of University Student Union will last forever

Seal of Yangon University

Our Historic Thit Poke Pin can stand against cyclone



Symbol of Student resistant in Rangoon University curiously survive the onslaught of the Cyclone Nargis. Almost all the young, old, small, big trees in Yangon fell. But this seemingly DEAD, fragile, big  old tree, which is long regarded as the symbol of the University Students’ resistance against the successive Myanmar Military rulers remarkably withstand the biggest, strongest and most powerful Cyclone.

Rangoon University Students Union, RUSU

 The political movement and the struggle for national liberation have a unique character in Burma as the students were always seen as the mobilizing force at the forefront of the struggle for freedom of Burma. The student movement is inseparable from the historic struggle for Burma’s independence from both colonial power and dictatorship.



Yangon University (Burmese: YangonTekkado.gif) is a university located in Kamayut Township, Yangon, Burma. It is the most well-known university in the country.


Established in 1878 as an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta, Rangoon College was operated and managed by the British. Rangoon College was opened by the Education Syndicate, which was established by the colonial government to manage educational institutions in Burma. It was renamed Government College in 1904, and University College in 1920, when University College (secular) and Judson College (Baptist-affiliated) were merged. The American Baptist Mission decided to recognise Judson College (formerly Baptist College) as a separate institution within the University of Rangoon. The University of Rangoon modelled itself after University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. Throughout the 1940s to 1950s, Rangoon University was the most prestigious university in Southeast Asia and one of the top universities in Asia, attracting students from across the region.




Dr U Nyo had donated the Rangoon University Students Union building where students with the nationalistic spirit used to gather. Union building was finished before the start of 1931 summer holidays. Rangoon University and Yudathan College students gathered in that building for the first time and had a combined meeting. In that meeting they formed a protean committee for the drawing up of the constitution for the Students Union.

Once the 1931-32 university semesters started, protean committee members had already finished the constitution.  The constitution, rules and regulations were also distributed to the Union members. Protean committee members called the union students a meeting at the upstairs hall in the union building and discussed about the election for the chairman post.

At that time, Ko Htun Sein had resigned from the Maths Department and was reading first year Law. Because of Ko Htun Sein’s outspokenness, courage, nationalistic spirit and great ambition, Thakhin Ba Sein wrote a proposal letter, nominating Ko Htun Sein for the Union Chairman post.  

In the Burmese history, unarmed university students sacrificed their lives against the Military Government. Students were massacred and Student’s Union Building was dynamited down together with the students inside. Since that day students became the RESISTENCE SYMBOL and used to spearhead the successive uprisings against the illegal Military Rulers.



judson_burma.jpgBurma army Chief of Staff General Ne Win and cohorts threaten the U Nu’s elected democratic government to hand over power and formed a Caretaker government from 1958 to 1960 for eighteen months. General Ne Win and cohorts had a good taste of power after 18 months of the Caretaker Government, and they regarded U Nu as a week leader and was not strong enough to govern the country. They openly told the Pyidaungsu Governments that the army had to fight vigorously and they are not happy to even protect and give security service to those corrupt political leaders.



Rangoon University after WWII

General Ne Win took over the power second time in March of 1962. Military coups were quite popular in those days of early sixties in Asia, Africa and in Latin America. Now it is out of fashion and most of them reverted back to the civilian rule. Just after the Military coup of General Ne Win, he quelled the dissents and demonstrations with his army brutally. He even dynamited the Students Union in the Rangoon University while some student leaders were still inside.

General Ne Win’s first speech challenged or threatened the unarmed Burmese Citizens that he would respond knife with knife, spear with spear if any one dare to challenge him and his lap-dog army, in Burmese,” Dhar dhar chin_Lhan lhan chin shin mae”.


In his last farewell speech he warned the Burmese citizens that next time if HIS Army had to be called to calm the uprising there is no vocabulary in the BURMA ARMY’s guiding manuals to shoot up into the air for warning. Burma Army would shoot straight to the target, in other words Tatmadaw declared its “SHOOT TO KILL” policy even on unarmed civilians.General Ne Win took over in the early morning of March 2nd, 1962. There was an important announcement over the radio from the Burma Broadcasting Service. We heard marching songs being played and then the announcement came regarding the taking over of the country by the military and about the formation of the Revolutionary Council. There were 17 names mentioned as members of the Revolutionary Council.

Rangoon university student protests started against the Military coup on 6 July 1962. On the 7th of July 1962 there were demonstrations against the Ne Win’s military government and the government retaliated with severe measures. Aung Gyi and Tin Pe were the most senior officers and Sein Lwin was the field commanding officer in the university region. No on exactly know who gave the orders to open fire.

On July 7, over 130 stubborn or diehard or brave would be martyr students who were demonstrating in the student’s union building in the campus of Rangoon University were dynamited and brutally killed by the army.

lakekhone1.jpgThe historic student’s union building was destroyed into pieces. The 7 July student’s massacre was merely a blood-stained on the Tatmadaw but they could not suppress the students’ spirit of going on fighting against the militarism. The arrest, torture and imprisonment could not crush the spirit of the fighting peacock or the revolutionary student protests.

88 Generation Student leaders, Ko Ko Gyi, Min Ko Naing and Ko Htay Kywe

When the Students’ Union building was dynamited with some of the students inside our heart sank and nearly broke. All the students, parents and the whole population felt very hurt up to the present time especially on this auspicious or rather a notorious day. The 7th July is the 9-11 for all the Burmese.

Ne Win blamed Aung Gyi and Aung Gyi pointed back to Ne Win as a responsible leader. But the real butcher who pulled the trigger was SEIN LWIN. (During the 1967 Student Festival in Mandalay, there was a small fight between the students. One of the son of Butcher Sein Lwin boasted amongst his friends that to quell that student unrest was a minor thing for his father who had shoot and killed a lot of students and dynamited the student’s union building on 7th July. And the whole Mandalay knew that the Anglo-Burmese Primary School teacher from St. Peters School was teaching English daily to that illiterate North-West Division Commander.)

No wonder there was a popular rallying slogan during 8888 because Ne Win put Sein Lwin as his successor Prime Minister after his resignation:

“Sein Lwin Chauk Tan_Tasauk Kan.”,

“Sein Lwin Chauk Tan_sauk yan loke myi”.

“San ta pyi sae nga kyat_Sein Lwin khaung ko pyat”.

“Sein Lwin Phar Kyo_Hto’ Kyo” e.t.c.

Ne Win was a drop out at Inter class for Bio and could not pursue his dreams to become a Medical Doctor. But he managed to snatch the wife of Dr Toke Gyi , Daw Khin May Than who was the daughter of famous Professor Dr Ba Than. Curiously both Ne Win and Dr Ba Than were notorious for womenisation.

Ne Win was notorious for never finishing any book except Adolph Hitler’s book, MEIN KAMPS. (Note this is not a satire or just tried to run down on Ne Win but the truth!)

And he was the one to demolish the very famous “Burmese Research Association” just because one of the professors got drunk and touch his wife Daw Khin May Than during the association’s dinner. He was shot and killed on the spot and the precious Burma Research Association was disbanded since then.

According to the General Ne Win, educated class or intellectuals are undecided, ignorant and corrupted class not to be trusted in their ‘Socialist’ revolution. Actually as a military dictator, he knew that he could not fool the educated class easily. The intelligent class always uses their heads (brains) and use to question and analyze each and every order. The dictators and especially Tatmadaw leaders never like that attitude. Subordinates must always obey the command given to them. They have no right to think whether it is right or wrong, just or not.

Intellectuals have no place under Military rulers. If do not want to keep their mouth shut, they must be put into detention or must leave the country to avoid the dangerous consequences.

In civilized countries the scholar is always placed above the ‘man of war’ believing that

“ Nations which trusted the gun perished by it earlier”.

But in Myanmar under the Military rulers the opposite of the above rule is always correct.

For Myanmar Military, power comes out from the barrel of the gun only. The might is always right for them.

“The evil that men do lives after them…”

Julius Caesar III ii.75,.by William Shakespeare

Yes, all the perpetrators of 7th July Ne Win, Sein Lwin and ? Aung Gyi ? are no more on earth. But their evil of Massacring Students on this day would be remembered forever. Since that day students became the RESISTENCE SYMBOL and used to spearhead the successive uprisings against the illegal Military Rulers.

The 7th July is the 9-11 for all the Burmese.

 In November 1974 the former UN Secretary General U Thant died, and on the day of his funeral on December 5, 1974 Rangoon University students snatched his coffin on display at the Kyaikkasan Race Course and erected a makeshift mausoleum on the grounds of the RUSU in protest against the government for not honouring their famous countryman with a state funeral. The military stormed the campus on 11 December killing some of the students, recovered the coffin and buried U Thant at the foot of the Shwedagon pagoda.

See also_

Ko Mya Aye, Burmese Muslim 88 Students Group Leader

 The spirit of University Student Union will last forever.




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