Martyrs' Day - Also a Shan Leader's Birthday
A Shan leader quietly celebrates his birthday, 19 July, which was designated as Martyrs' Day in 1947, the year he was born.
Sao Ood Kesi, Chief Foreign Affairs Officer of the Shan States Army, commanded by Yawdserk, says he is making offerings to the Buddha's shrine at his home, marking not only his birthday but also Martyrs' Day which falls on the same day.
His father was Sao Zing, heir apparent
to the Kesi throne. His mother was Sao Kyi, younger sister of Sao Htun
Yin of Banyin State, the famous prince who served in the British army
during World War II and won a medal for bravery.
Sao Ood was born in Kesi, a small Shan principality in the central Shan State of Burma, then known as the Shan States. He received his bachelor degree in law in 1979 and the LL.B. the following year. He became an advocate in 1982 and practised law until 1988. In 1989, he joined the Democratic League for the National Races of Shan State.
Three years later, in 1992 disillusioned by the failure of the Rangoon junta to honor the results of the 1990 elections, he joined the armed resistance.
Martyrs' Day has been observed since 1947 to mark the assassination of Aung San, and his colleagues, among whom was Sao Sam Htun, Prince of Mongpawn, Shan States, father of Sao Hso Hom, President of the exiled Shan Democratic Union.