Kodawhmaing, Thakin


Kodawhmaing, Thakin
   (1875-1964)
   Burma's premier nationalist writer. He received a traditional monastic education and is said to have witnessed British troops taking King Thibaw and Queen Supayalat off to exile in India at the end of the Third Anglo-Burmese War while living at a monastery in Mandalay. He began a journalistic career in 1894 when he became editor of Myanma Nezin (Myanma Daily) in Moulmein (Mawlamyine) and served as editor of Thuriya (The Sun), one of the major Burmese (Myanmar) language newspapers established during the colonial period, between its inception in 1911 and 1921. He also became a professor at the "National University" established as part of the National Schools movement in 1921, but subsequently returned to journalism. During the late 1930s, he was mentor and leader of the mainstream faction of the Dobama Asiayone. Despite his traditional upbringing and strong Buddhist beliefs, he seems to have been very receptive to the leftwing ideas of the young Thakins, including Aung San; in reaction to this, a right-wing Ba Sein-Tun Oke faction broke away from the mainstream Dobama in 1939.
   Kodaw Hmaing's best-known writings are his tikas (long essays or commentaries), which criticized British rule and those Burmese politicians who cooperated with it. In Boh Tika ("On Europeans"), published in 1913, he criticized those Burmese women who married foreign men out of economic necessity. In Thakin Tika, written in 1935, he proclaimed his support for the Dobama Asiayone.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.