Salai Tin Maung Oo’s 38th death anniversary commemorated
26 June 2007 – Dozens of people based in New Delhi gathered at the Burmese Christian Association hall last Wednesday, commemorating the death of Salai Tin Maung Oo.
The event, organized in the capital of India by the Chin Student Union, marked the 38th anniversary of the Chin student leader in Burma, who was secretly hanged in Insein Prison on 26 June 1976.
The memorial program started with a session where participants paid homage and laid wreaths under a photo of Salai Tin Maung Oo in respect and appreciation of his belief and courage.
All of the seven key speakers invited gave speeches and shared their views on the brutalities of Burma’s successive military regimes, highlighting the fact that he would always be remembered for his determination and firm stand for his people although he had been assassinated.
U Nyu Tun, who was once in Insein Prison with Salai Tin Maung Oo, said: “He [Salai Tin Maung Oo] was secretly hanged to death at the age of 25 inside Burma’s Insein Prison with these last words on his lips ‘You can kill my body but you can never kill my beliefs and what I stand for. I will never kneel down to your military boots’.”
“For us, a martyr emerged – one who offered his life, his blood, sweat and tears for unity, loyalty and peace. He is and will forever be a role model for the generations to come.”
He was executed inside the prison walls at 4am and believed to be the first student leader assassinated by the then Burmese military regime.
U Pingia Zaw Tah, a Buddhist Monk who fled Burma after the 2007 Saffron revolution, said: “Salai Tin Mawng Oo was the type of individual who loved not only his parents and siblings, but also all kinds of people who were being oppressed under the rule of the military dictators in Burma.”
“Even though he was killed by the military, his belief and love for freedom remain with us till today. We should follow his steps and stand for the beliefs that he died for.”
Pu Bual Tawn, an elder from the Chin refugee community in Delhi, also said: “We must stand for our people bravely and fight. We should be aware of his bravery, leadership and upright beliefs.”
The service was attended by participants including leaders of Chin communities and community-based organizations, former pro-democracy political activists and refugees from Burma stranded in New Delhi.
Born on 9 November 1951 to Christian parents of Salai Hla Din, of Sandoway, Arakan State, and Mai Hnin Myaing, of Toungup, Arakan sate, Salai Tin Maung Oo, the eldest of eight siblings, belonged to a Chin tribal group, Asho.#