Maung Thaw Ka was actually his penname. He was born Ba Thaw in 1928 in Shwebo. His other name was Nur Marmed. He and his family were Muslims, and that was not an issue when he, U Win Tin and U Moe Thu, two Buddhists, went to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in August 1988. It was before some fanatics began to try to drive wedges between people of different faiths.
Maung Thaw Ka was laid to rest in the Sunni cemetery in Yangon, beside his brother Ba Zaw, or Gholam Marmed, a captain in the infantry who had died from natural causes in 1980. The cemetery was swarming with military intelligence agents when Maung Thaw Ka’s coffin was brought there in 1991. During my last visit to Myanmar, I went to Maung Thaw Ka’s grave to pay my respects to him, a dear friend, a brilliant mind—and a true Myanmar patriot.