Aung San, General U, 1915-1947

Aung San spent the war as Commander in Chief of the Burma Independence Army which later became the BNA (Burma National Army). He accepted the Japanese rule of Burma but, in fact, was waiting for the chance to fight for his country’s independence. In March 1945 as the British were advancing through the Burmese jungle, Aung San and his BNA marched into the jungle ostensibly to fight the British but in fact to fight for independence. In mid-May Aung San flew to the 14th Army Headquarters at Meiktila to negotiate with SLIM who refused to recognize the claim of the antiFascist organization to be the provisional government of Burma. Aung San at first refused to serve on the Executive Council that ruled Burma, but when the political situation deteriorated Britain called in Aung San to be Deputy Chairman of the Council (September 1946), Aung San then negotiated with ATTLEE and they signed an agreement in January 1947 which promised the election of a Constituent Assembly and independence within a year. Aung San returned in triumph but this was short-lived since he was assassinated along with six members of his cabinet on 19 July 1947.

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