Aung San & Aung San Suu Kyi

Imagine Indians forgetting all about Gandhi. Or Indonesians failing to honor Sukarno. Impossible? Yet that's what seems to have happened with another independence hero, Aung San of Burma, who fought both the British and the Japanese to secure his country's freedom from foreign rule. Aung San's name has been dropped from official speeches. His boyish face has disappeared from Burmese bank notes. His grave has been closed to the public for years. One academic has described the process as "Aung San amnesia."

Blame it on the very institution he founded, the Burmese army, which seized power in a...

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