This week in the War, 14–20 May 1945: Aung San helps the British

Aung San, 1940s [Public domain]

This week in the war, on 15 May 1945, Burmese revolutionary leader Aung San—who had previously sided with the Japanese—offered to help the British. The British welcomed him.

Originally a communist, he changed to being a social democrat and later became Premier of the British Crown Colony of Burma.

He dedicated his life to fighting for Burma’s independence but was assassinated several months before his country achieved self-rule.

His daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, would follow in her father’s footsteps, suffering persecution (including 15 years of house arrest) as an advocate of democracy.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Aung San Suu Kyi and her staff at her home in Rangoon, 19 November 2012 [Public domain]

She would go on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace and become her country’s head of state as First State Counsellor of Myanmar (Burma).

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