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Saw, U (1900–1948)

Justin Corfield


U Saw, also known as Galon U Saw, was an ambitious nationalist politician in the colonial period in Burma (now Myanmar), and was the deputy chairman of the Executive Council from September 1940 until January 1942. He was later involved in the assassination of independence leader Aung San (1915–47) . U Saw was born in 1900 in Tharrawaddy, and trained as a lawyer. He first became famous in the 1930s when he defended Hsaya San (1876–1931), a former monk who led the rebellion in 1930–2 which bore his name, although it now tends to be called the Galon Peasant Rebellion–Galon being the famous bird in Indian mythology (elsewhere known as Garuda). This led U Saw to style himself Galon U Saw. By 1935 U Saw had saved up enough money to buy the Thuriya (Sun) newspaper and used it to promote himself and his political allies. In the same year he visited Japan and was greatly impressed by the country, hoping to develop Burma along totalitarian lines. Apparently, in 1937, the Japanese consulate in Rangoon presented U Saw with a motor car. His supporters formed the Myochit (Patriots) Party in 1938 and he became minister of forestry. He then used his party members to help overthrow the government of Ba Maw, and with limited self-government for Burma, in September 1940 U Saw became deputy chairman of the Executive Council, the highest position of any Burmese in the country, effectively being ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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