The Secretariat

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The Secretariat, or Ministers’ Office, is the building where Myanmar’s national hero, General Aung San, was assassinated in 1947, along with eight others. The Victorian-style building dates from the 1800s and was extended into a courtyard-like complex of buildings in 1905. Indeed it feels much like an Oxford University college.

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The Yangon government has recognised the value of restoring its old buildings for tourists, and this one will be quite grand when renovation has finished. At the moment it has a cafe and a souvenir shop and you must go around with a guide. It was assumed that we knew the story of the assassination, so the short video they showed us was a bit complicated to follow. I still have a bit of reading to do to understand the history of this country, so here’s a link to information about General Aung San if you would like more information.

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This is the room in which General Aung San and others were shot. For a period it was used as a Buddhist shrine, so now they are stripping the walls back to the original form and looking for the bullet holes.

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A surprise discovery in the lobby of the building was the arrival of Father Christmas (on 21st December), so I just had to get a sweet from him!

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© Helen Gray 2021