Born in 1915, Aung San was educated at Rangoon University (1933-38) where he became the leader of the anti-colonial student movement. A member of the nationalist Dobama Asiayone («We Burmans») movement, he was recruited by the Japanese in 1940 for training and initiated the armed struggle. Founder of the Burma Independence Army (BIA), he entered Burma with the Japanese Imperial Forces in 1942. War minister under the Japanese military government (1943-45), he then led the revolt against his former masters to liberate Burma in May 1945 so as to negotiate independence from Great Britain. Prime Minister of the interim colonial government (1946-47), he was assassinated on July 19, 1947, six months before Burma was granted independence. Ever since, he has remained the main nationalist hero of the country’s recent history.