Bogyoke Aung San’s office will be open to the public this Martyrs’ Day

The Secretariat circa 1910. Photo: WikiCommons
The Secretariat circa 1910. Photo: WikiCommons

We all know that every year, the Secretariat Compound is open to the public for one day on July 19 in commemoration of Martyrs’ Day. And while each year presents a rare opportunity to see the inside of such a historic landmark, this year’s celebrations will be especially significant as visitors will be able to get a glimpse of General Aung San’s office for the first time in decades.

The room is most infamous for being the site of Aung San’s assassination, where he and eight other people were gunned down during a meeting on July 19, 1947. Since then, the room has been converted into a prayer room featuring a Buddhist shrine, and has been kept strictly off-limits to the public.

However, on this upcoming July 19, not only will the room be opened up, but the actual furniture that used to be in the room will also be arranged to replicate the layout of the room on the day of the attack. The furniture, which will be on loan from the National Museum, has never before been publicly displayed either.

May Thadar Win, a spokesperson of the Secretariat Conservation Group, was quoted by The Irrawaddy as saying: “We will renovate the room to make it the same as it was in 1947. The family members of the deceased martyrs also agreed to this.”

Visitors will also get a chance to visit the interior of the first parliament house, part of which has been restored. It was in front of the house that the Myanmar flag was hoisted for the first time as the country celebrated its independence on January 4, 1948.

Sir Hubert Rance (left), the last British governor of Burma, and Sao Shwe Thaik, the first president of the New Republic of Burma, as the new flag is raised to mark Burmese independence on January 4, 1948. Photo: WikiCommons

For those who don’t want to miss out on seeing these historic rooms, the Secretariat will be open from 8:30am to 4:30pm on July 19.

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