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Nu Thakin U


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(b. 25 May 1907, d. 14 Feb 1995).

Prime Minister of Burma 1948–56, 1956–8, 1960–2 Born in Wakema, he studied at Rangoon University, where he was leader of the Rangoon University Students' Union (1935–6). A member of the nationalist Do Bama Asi Ayon, he was interned by the British in 1940. During the country's Japanese occupation (1942–5), together with Aung San he joined the Japanese puppet regime under Ba Maw, as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He became vice‐president of the Anti‐Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL), and in July 1947, following Aung San's assassination, became president of the AFPFL and chief negotiator of the country's transition to independence. As such he became Burma's first Prime Minister.

During his years in office Nu Thakin U sought to build a neutral state. He also sought to provide a traditional, integrationist base for the heterogeneous state by elevating Buddhism as state religion. This increased hostility from the non‐Buddhist ethnic groups, particularly the Christian Karens. The existence of Communist guerrillas increased his reliance on the army even further, forcing him to ask the army leader, Ne Win, to form a caretaker government in 1958. He was thus unable to resist the army coup of 1962, when he was imprisoned. Released in 1969, he organized armed resistance from Thailand, and retired in 1973. He returned to Burma following an amnesty in 1980. In 1988, he re‐emerged on Aung San Suu Kyi's side as the leader of the pro‐democratic opposition movement.Myanmar


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