Kyaw Zaw

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Kyaw Zaw (, ; born on 3 December 1919) is one of the founders of the Tatmadaw (the modern Burmese Army) and a member of the legendary "Thirty Comrades" who trained in Japan in the struggle for independence from Britain. He is also one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Burma living in exile in Yunnan Province, China.

Student activist

Born Maung Shwe in a village called Hsaingzu near Thonze in Tharrawaddy District, British Burma, Kyaw Zaw was educated in the traditional manner, mainly in monastic schools often becoming a novice monk during the Buddhist lent, until the final year when he went to the Pazundaung Municipal High School in Rangoon. There he met teachers who were members of the nationalist Dobama Asiayone (We Burmans Association) who made him become politically aware and soon joined the Yè tat (The Braves - Dobama militia). As he was educated only in the vernacular and had no knowledge of the English language required for university, he went on to the Highergrade Teachers Training School where English was not required.

The Great General Strike of 1938, known as Htaung thoun ya byei Ayeidawbon (the "Revolution of 1300" named after the Burmese calendar year), saw him as one of the student protesters successfully picketing the Secretariat, the seat of the colonial government, on December 20. As the students left in triumphant procession, they were confronted by the British mounted police who...
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