The Secretariat is Yangon’s most intriguing and beautiful historic architectural landmark. The Victorian-colonial masterpiece that sits on almost 16 acres in the heart of Yangon was once the seat of British Administration in Burma. Fully completed in 1905, The Secretariat was the center of British colonial administration in Burma and was the pre-eminent structure associated with the government during this period.
The building was also the place where Myanmar’s first steps towards independence happened. The diarchy (Legislative Council) was established at The Secretariat in 1923, giving Burma a limited measure of self -rule. It was the location where Burma formally separated from India in 1937 where the largest anti-colonial student demonstration at the time occurred in 1938.
After the Second World War, independence negotiations began and by 1947 an agreement had been reached with the independence leader, General Aung San. On 19 July 1947, however, Aung San and eight other cabinet members were assassinated in the west range of The Secretariat, a murder that has since been commemorated every year on ‘Martyrs’ Day’. Independence from Britain was finally marked in the quadrangle of The Secretariat complex’s main courtyard in 1948, a key event in Burmese and British history. It continued to be the center of post -independence governmental administration until the capital was relocated from Yangon to Naypyidaw in 2005.
Open: Daily (08:00 – 18:00 hrs)
Address: Botataung, Township, Yangon