Myanmar prez visits tomb of last Burma king

India and Myanmar share some common chapters of history. This was reiterated when the Myanmar President visited India over the weekend, months after PM Manmohan Singh's visit to Yangon.

About 127 years after King Thibaw, the last king of Burma, was exiled to Ratnagiri by the British, Myanmar President Thein Sein on Saturday visited the king's and princess' tombs in the Maharashtra town.

In May, Singh had visited the tomb of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was exiled by the British to erstwhile Rangoon. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid visited the tomb in Yangon last weekend.

In November 1885, the Burmese king, his pregnant Queen Supayalat, their daughters, and the king's junior wife Queen Supayagalae were exiled to Ratnagiri, where they lived for 30 years. The king died in December 1916. His junior queen died few years before him. In 1919, Queen Supayalat and her daughters were permitted to return to Rangoon, but not allowed to take back the coffins. The British constructed a tomb in Ratnagiri. The royal family returned to Burma in 1919.

The king's eldest daughter returned a year later to Ratnagiri. When she died in June 1947, she was cremated and the ashes stored in a wooden box in Ratnagiri Treasury.

During Singh's visit, the king's great grandson, U Soe Win, sent him a letter requesting permission to carry the royal remains to Myanmar. It is not clear whether Thein Sein raised the matter with Singh during their meeting on Friday.

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