Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News   

History of the UN Secretaries General from 1945 to 2020 U Thant of Burma, Third Secretary General

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   1 comment
Author 4578
Message Stephen Fox
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)


SYND 23-10-71 U THANT SPEAKS ON UNITED NATIONS DAY (22 Oct 1971) The United Nations Secretary General U Thant speaks on UN day. You can license this story through AP Archive: ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: AP Archive)
  Details   DMCA

"As a Buddhist, I was trained to be tolerant of everything except intolerance." U Thant

In the wake of Hammarskjold's passing, on 3 November 1961, Thant was unanimously appointed as acting Secretary-General by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council in Resolution 168. On 30 November 1961, the General Assembly unanimously appointed him secretary-general for a term of office ending on 3 November 1966.

U Thant (22 January 1909 25 November 1974) was a Burmese diplomat and the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1971. Born: 22 January 1909, Pantanaw, Burma, British India

.Un.org/sg/en/content/u-thant

During the World War II, the Japanese occupied Burma from 1942 to 1945. They brought Thant to Rangoon to lead the Educational Reorganizing Committee. However, Thant did not have any real power, and returned to Pantanaw. When the Japanese ordered making Japanese compulsory in Pantanaw high schools, Thant defied the orders and cooperated with the growing anti-Japanese resistance.

In 1948, Burma gained independence from the United Kingdom. Nu became the prime minister of the newly independent Burma and appointed Thant as director of broadcasting in 1948. By then, civil war had broken out. The Karen insurgency began and Thant risked his life to go to Karen camps to negotiate for peace. The negotiations broke down, and in 1949 the advancing insurgents burned his hometown, including his house.

The insurgents pushed the front to within four miles of the capital Rangoon before they were beaten back. In the following year, Thant was appointed secretary to the government of Burma in the Ministry of Information. From 1951 to 1957, Thant was secretary to the prime minister, writing speeches for U Nu, arranging his foreign travel, and meeting foreign visitors. During this entire period, he was U Nu's closest confidant and advisor.

He also took part in a number of international conferences and was the secretary of the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia, which gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement. From 1957 to 1961, he was Burma's permanent representative to the United Nations and became actively involved in negotiations over Algerian independence. In 1961, Thant was named Secretary General of the United Nations.

During the World War II, the Japanese occupied Burma from 1942 to 1945. They brought Thant to Rangoon to lead the Educational Reorganizing Committee. However, Thant did not have any real power, and returned to Pantanaw. When the Japanese ordered making Japanese compulsory in Pantanaw high schools, Thant defied the orders and cooperated with the growing anti-Japanese resistance.

In 1948, Burma gained independence from the United Kingdom. Nu became the prime minister of the newly independent Burma and appointed Thant as director of broadcasting in 1948. By then, civil war had broken out. The Karen insurgency began and Thant risked his life to go to Karen camps to negotiate for peace. The negotiations broke down, and in 1949 the advancing insurgents burned his hometown, including his house. The insurgents pushed the front to within four miles of the capital Rangoon before they were beaten back.

In the following year, Thant was appointed secretary to the government of Burma in the Ministry of Information. From 1951 to 1957, Thant was secretary to the prime minister, writing speeches for U Nu, arranging his foreign travel, and meeting foreign visitors. During this entire period, he was U Nu's closest confidant and advisor.

Thant died of lung cancer in New York on 25 November 1974. By that time, Burma was ruled by a military junta which refused him any honours. The then Burmese president Ne Win was envious of Thant's international stature and the respect that was accorded him by the Burmese populace. Ne Win also resented Thant's close links with the democratic government of U Nu which Ne Win had overthrown in a coup d'e'tat on 2 March 1962.

However, Thant's grandson, Thant Myint-U, wrote in the book The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma that intense animosity between Thant and Ne Win went back only to 1969, when Ne Win believed Thant was conniving with Nu after Nu denounced Ne Win at a press corp meeting at the UN headquarters. Ne Win told his men to consider Thant as an enemy of the state, despite Thant denouncing Nu's action as inappropriate.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Stephen Fox Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

NYC Council "STANDS UNITED" WITH N.DAKOTA PROTESTERS, 2 new videos of police using pepper spray and rubber bullets

Bernie Meets with LA Times Editorial Board (this is the complete transcript!)

Mirena Interuterine Devices can cause Depression, Mood swings, Acne, Back Pain, Uterine Cysts, and Uterine Perforations

What does Coca Cola's Dasani bottled water have in common with Death by Lethal Injection?

CA Exit Polls reveal 23% Discrepancy; 11 States With Vote "Flipping" Evidence; Our New Directions in American History?

In the California Primary, More Ballots Remain Uncounted than the Total Number of votes for Hillary Clinton!

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: