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Friday, December 17, 2010

မြန္ဘုရင္ ရာဇာဓိရာဇ္

Razadarit or Rajadhirat (Burmese: ရာဇာဓိရာဇ်; pronounced [jàza̰dəɹìʔ]; 1368–1422) was the ninth king of Hanthawaddy Pegu from 1384 to 1422, and is considered one of the greatest kings in Burmese history. He successfully reunified all three Mon-speaking regions of southern Burma (Myanmar), and fended off major assaults by the Burmese-speaking northern Kingdom of Ava (Innwa) in the Forty Years' War (1385–1424).

When Razadarit became the ruler of Hanthawaddy in 1384, the 16-year-old boy-king held just the Pegu (Bago) province while the other two major Mon-speaking regions of the Irrawaddy delta and Martaban (Mottama) were in open rebellion. By his sheer will and military leadership, he defeated Ava's first wave of invasions in the 1380s, and by 1390, was able to reunify all three Mon regions. During the second half of the Forty Years' War, he met Minkhaung I of Ava and his son Minyekyawswa head-on in Lower Burma, Upper Burma, and Arakan.
Razadarit is remembered as a complex figure: a brave military commander, who defeated Minkhaung I in single combat, and kept the kingdom independent; an able administrator who organized the kingdom; and a ruthless paranoid figure, who drove his first love Talamidaw to commit suicide, and ordered the execution of their innocent son Bawlawkyantaw. The king died of injuries received in hunting a wild elephant in 1422 at age 54. He left a strong, independent kingdom for the Mon people that would prosper for another 117 years. Three of his offspring later became rulers of Hanthawaddy. His daughter Shin Sawbu was the first and only female regent, and one of the most enlightened rulers in Burmese history.
The story of Razadarit's reign is recorded in a classic epic that exists in Mon, Burmese and Thai language forms. Razadarit's struggles against Minkhaung I and Minyekyawswa are retold as classic stories of legend in Burmese popular culture.

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