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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forgotten Patriot “Ashin U Ottama”

On 28th December,1879, Ashin U Ottama was born at Rupa Quarter, Sittwe, Rakihne State. His parents are Mr.Mra and Mrs.Aung Krwa Pru. He joined the monastic order as a novice under the tutelage of abbot of Shwe Zedi Monastry in sittwe. His childhood name is Paul Tun Aung and U Ottama was his religious name.
As a Buddhist monk, he traveled to India, France, Japan, Korea, Manchuria and China. In Japan, he served as the professor of Buddhism in the university teaching Pali and Sanskrit Languages. He authored and editiored editorials and articles in “Thuriya” daily portraying nationalism. He wrote “Craddock, Get Out”, Craddock being the then governor of Burma(Myanmar) that was colonized by British.
Due to political speeches against British colonialism, he was imprisoned many times by British authorities. But he continued delivering speeches against British colonialism at the front of Burma Independence movement from 1911 to 1936. Moreover, he accelerated the Burma people’s patriotism. Suffering hardships and difficulties in the struggle for Independence, the patriot Buddhist monk passed away at the age of sixty in 1939.
At one time, the Kandawmin Park in the southern part of the Shwedagon Pagoda was named U Ottama park honoring the contributions of Ashin U Ottama .In his native town, sittwe, the park with the bronze statue of Ashin U Ottama as a memorial monument honors the contributions and achievement of the Saradaw (more formal than monk) for his unrelenting fight against British imperialism.
Unfortunately, the U Ottama Park in the southern part of Shwedagon Pagoda was renamed by the military regime after seizing power. People could not pay homage to the statue of Ashin U Ottama in the U Ottama Park in sittwe. The ruling junta are making the people forget about the contributions and gratitude of the patriot monk for the Myanmar Independence.


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