Dr. Ba Maw's Biographic Timeline

(This timeline chronologically highlights the important aspects of Dr. Ba Maw's life.)


Born, February 8 in Maubin, Irrawaddy Division, Burma (now Myanmar); to Daw Thein Tin and U Kye, nationalist leader, and official of the courts of Kings Mindon and Thibaw.


Graduates from Rangoon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.


Earns his Master of Arts degree from Calcutta University in India.


Begins career as a Schoolmaster.
Is the first Burman to be appointed Lecturer of English at Rangoon College which was then affiliated with Calcutta University.


Is admitted to Cambridge University in England.


Is admitted to Gray’s Inn, London; earns Barrister-at-Law degree.
Begins research at Bordeaux University, France. Writes a doctoral thesis on Aspects of Buddhism in Burma, in French. Earns a PhD suma cum laude.


Practices law.


Marries Daw Kinmama Maw on April 5; in due course, they have, and rear seven children.
(Daw Kinmama was born on December 13, 1905, of middle-class parents. She was a leader of the Sinyetha Party, Freedom Bloc; and helped organize the Thirty Comrades. She was also President of All Burma National Women’s League from 1943-45, and active in Mahabama Party, 1947-57.)


Becomes Chief Defense Counsel for Saya San and the other leaders of the Peasant Rebellion.
Loses Saya San’s case. Saya San and other leaders executed on November 16.
Dr. Ba Maw enters politics at this point.
November 27 - January 12: Attends Burma Round Table Conference, London, to discuss "A New Constitution for Burma."


November: Contests general elections on the issue of separation from India.


November 29 - December 20: Joins delegation to London to discuss Burma/India separation, and a new constitution for Burma.


Becomes Minister of Education and Minister of Public Health.


Government of Burma Act is passed; a new constitution is written. Dobama Society and All Youth League are united to form Dobama Asiayone.


February: Promotes Socialism in Burma by forming and leading Hsin-yè-tha, the Poor Man's Party.

General elections held.


April 1: Becomes First Prime Minister of Burma. Constitution of 1935 comes into operation.
Burma officially separated from India.

May 5 - 6:
As Prime Minister of Burma, he and his wife, Daw Kinmama Maw, attend the coronation of King George VI.


Is approached by the Japanese.


January: Is again approached by the Japanese.

Freedom Bloc, an anti-British, independence movement is officially formed:
Dr. Ba Maw is elected President, and General Aung San, Secretary.

Freedom Bloc becomes a full-fledged national movement; holds mass meetings and
demonstrations throughout Burma.


January: Freedom Bloc fully unites.
Dr. Ba Maw is informed by Aung San of the secret Thakin group’s desire for foreign military aid.

Dr. Ba Maw informs Japanese of Freedom Bloc's readiness to organize an armed uprising.

May: Undercover Japanese organizer, "Mogyo", arrives in Rangoon.

Dr. Ba Maw is elected Ahashin of Hsin-yè-tha, the Poor Man's Party, at Mandalay conference.

Freedom Bloc members arrested. The Bloc goes underground. Dr. Ba Maw resigns from Burma Legislature in protest.

August 14:
He is arrested by the British in Rangoon; taken to Mandalay; tried under Defense of Burma Rules, and is sentenced to imprisonment.

Is transferred to Rangoon Central Jail.

Is transferred to Mogok Jail.


April 13: Wife, Daw Kinmama, successfully plans a jail-break and rescue operation. Dr. Ba Maw escapes from Mogok Jail.

The British withdraw from Burma; Dr. Ba Maw emerges from hiding; meets Japanese troops, and goes to Mandalay.

Dr. Ba Maw and Aung San hold meetings with Japanese Army Command in Maymyo.
The Burmese Provincial Administrative Committee is formed. Dr. Ba Maw is appointed head.

Also accepts leadership of The Burmese Executive Administration, formed on August 1, 1942. Dobama Sinyetha Asiayone is openly declared.


March 23: Dr. Ba Maw leads delegation to Japan.
Is received in audience by the Tenno Heika (Japanese) Emperor.
Is decorated with the First Class Order of the Rising Sun; meets with Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Tojo at the Imperial Palace.

May 8:
Formally announces the formation of the Independence Preparatory Commission.

Meets with Indian independence movement leader, Netaji Bose, and Prime Minister Tojo in Singapore.

Independence Preparatory Commission approves final draft of a new constitution.
Dr. Ba Maw is unanimously elected as first Head of State, Burma (1943-1945).

August 1: 11:20 A.M.
Burma declares Independence. Dr. Ba Maw is proclaimed Naingandaw Adipadi, or Head of State.
4:00 P.M. Burma declares war on Britain and the United States.
4:30 P.M. Dr. Ba Maw signs a Treaty of Alliance Between Japan and Burma.
Burma's Ordeal Plan is published.
6:00 P.M Dr. Ba Maw, as Head of State, holds his first press conference.

Daw Kinmama is elected head of the All-Burma National Women's League.

Sept - October: Dr. Ba Maw is informed of the formation of an anti-Japanese resistance movement by its leaders.

November 5-6:
Heads the Burmese delegation attending The Greater East Asia Conference in Tokyo.


February: The Japanese Army attempts to assassinate Dr. Ba Maw.

Allies open general offensive.
Dr. Ba Maw is invited to Tokyo as guest of the Emperor.
He is requested to provide assurance of unwavering support to the Southeast Asian Nations for Japan with speeches and public appearances including a radio broadcast to the entire country. Before agreeing, he first negotiates with Field Marshal Sugiyama that the retreating Japanese forces will spare Burma from destruction, most especially the city of Rangoon and the great Shwedagon Pagoda. Assurance in hand, he complies with the Emperor's request.

End of November:
Dr. Ba Maw visits a Kamikaze training camp near Taipei, Formosa. He wishes the volunteers success and farewell.

The war crisis deepens; the Burmese anti-colonial unity dissolves.


January: The Thakin group switches sides; it joins its former adversary, the British.

February: The Mahabama War Government issues a statement of policy.

The British attack Mandalay.

The Japanese retreat from Rangoon; Dr. Ba Maw, his cabinet and their families, leave with them. The British regain control of Upper Burma.

Dr. Ba Maw is informed of Japanese surrender by Ambassador Ishii. He departs Burma by the Thai-Burma railway in order to seek refuge in Japan. Is taken to Muikamachi in Niigata Prefecture in the North. There, he goes into hiding in a Buddhist temple called Yokushoji in Ishiuchi village. He is cared for by Imanari, an influential local youth leader, and his group.

British Governor Dorman-Smith returns to Burma.

End December:
Dr. Ba Maw surrenders to the British occupation forces; he is imprisoned in Sugamo Prison, Tokyo, Dec 1945 - July 1946


March: Political turmoil reigns throughout Burma.

Dr. Ba Maw is pardoned by the British.

August 1:
He returns to Burma from Tokyo.
He forms the Mahabama (Greater Burma) Party and leads a movement opposing the British.


January: Aung San-Atlee Agreement is signed. Dr. Ba Maw's party opposes the Agreement.

General elections take place. Dr. Ba Maw forms an alliance with others to join the Union of Burma.

Aung San and other leading ministers are assassinated by ‘Galon’ U Saw. Dr. Ba Maw is imprisoned by the U Nu government on suspicion of complicity in the assassinations.


July: Dr. Ba Maw is cleared of complicity, and released from prison.


Dr. Ba Maw retires from active politics.


Bo Yan Naing, Dr. Ba Maw’s son-in-law, leads a major, non-communist uprising against the Ne Win regime. Reprisals force him to flee to the River Kwai for refuge. As a consequence, Dr. Ba Maw, his daughter Tinsa Maw Naing with her youngest months-old infant son, are arrested and imprisoned, (May 1966 - February 1968)


Daw Kinmama Maw dies while her husband is still incarcerated. Dr. Ba Maw and daughter Tinsa are are permitted to attend the funeral for a few hours.


February: Dr. Ba Maw and Tinsa Maw-Naing are freed.
He returns to the practice of law.
He smuggles out of Burma, a manuscript of his memoirs of the war years.
His book, Breakthrough in Burma, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, 1939-1947, is published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London; it now resides in the Library of Congress catalog # 67-24504...


Dr. Ba Maw’s teenage, twin grandsons, who was with their father, Bo Yan Naing, on the River Kwai,     die in exile; Yan Myo Naing of cerebral malaria, in January 1972; and Yan Lin Naing is shot in January 1976, by a member of the Burmese military regime masquerading as one of the refugees.


Dr. Ba Maw dies in Rangoon, now Yangon, in May 1977. In defiance of the ban on public gatherings, over a thousand of Burma's intelligentsia attends his funeral.

May 31:
An obituary, written by him, appears in the New York Times: The plight of the Alone to the Alone (Pluto).