Saw, U


Saw, U
   (1900-1948)
   A major colonial-era political leader, who took the name Galon U Saw after serving as a defense attorney for Saya San (Hsaya San) in 1931. He established the Myochit or Patriot Party in 1938, and served as Burma's prime minister in 1940-1941 under the system established by the Government of Burma Act. However, he was arrested by the British on his way home from a 1941 trip to Britain and the United States after attempting to make contact with the Japanese legation in Lisbon, Portugal, and spent World War II imprisoned in Uganda, East Africa. Brought back to Burma in 1946 by the sympathetic governor, Reginald DormanSmith, he expected, with the governor's backing, to assume a leadership position, but he was eclipsed in popularity by Aung San, for whom he developed a strong antagonism (in part stimulated by his belief that Aung San attempted to have him assassinated). A member of the delegation that went to London to confer with Prime Minister Clement Attlee in January 1947, he refused to sign the Aung SanAttlee Agreement. Gunmen loyal to U Saw assassinated Aung San and six other leaders on July 19, 1947. U Saw apparently believed that with Aung San and the rest of his Executive Council out of the way, it would be possible for him to become the first prime minister of independent Burma. But U Saw was promptly arrested, put on trial, and sentenced to death in December 1947, the sentence being carried out in May of the following year.
   See also Aung San, Assassination of; Saya San Rebellion; Tat.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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