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Burma Comemorates Martyrs' Day

RANGOON -- Burma commemorated Martyrs' Day at the mausoleum in Rangoon on Thursday in memory of Gen. Aung San, father of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and other independent leaders who were gunned down on the day 60 years ago.

Culture Minister Maj. Gen. Khin Aung Myint presided over an official ceremony at the mausoleum, placing a wreath before the tombs, followed by relatives of the slain leaders.

Suu Kyi, who is now under house arrest, was invited to attend the ceremony but she refused the invitation, authorities said earlier.

Aung San Oo, the eldest son of Aung San, attended the ceremony, laying a wreath of flowers in front of his father's tomb, kneeling down and worshiping. He had lived in the United States, but he returned to Yangon last month.

Aung San, six Cabinet ministers and two officials were gunned down July 19, 1947, six months before Burma gained independence from Britain. Gunmen sent by U Saw, a former prime minister in the British colonial government, mowed down the government leaders during a Cabinet meeting.

U Saw and the five gunmen were tried and sentenced to death by hanging in January 1948.//Kyodo

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