Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Impression of 1948 Independence Day

It is found on the internet website for information and reference for Burmese Researchers.
Please click on the link below.

The below is an interesting notes from above.

"The monsoon of I947 had been particularly heavy in Rangoon. On a wet morning when Rance was working in Government House, an ADC burst in to say that there had been an armed attack. Within a few minutes it was confirmed that Aung San and five members of the council had been killed. Later Kyaw Nyein, the veteran independence fighter who had joined the delegation to London in January, when he was interviewed by the historian Robert Taylor in the 1970s, said that Attlee, had personally known about and approved of the plot against Aung San. It was an act of personal vengeance, Kyaw Nyein insisted. At the conference in London , Aung San had given Attlee his word that, in return for an immediate commitment to independence, Aung San would keep Burma in the Commonwealth. Aung San had broken his word and had thus called into question Attlee's 'personal role in history'. He had to die. But, he added, the nationalists had decided not to reveal their evidence because they feared it would delay independence. Kyaw Nyein,  home member and strong socialist, said that European business firms had been secretly financing Saw in the hope of promoting a non-socialist government that would leave their interests unaffected.Some credence was given to this because Mr Bingley of the British Council had apparently been in conversation with Saw about his attitude towards British firms. Whatever the truth, Rance understood that he had to move quickly to fill the gap left by Aung San. Luckily, one plausible candidate, Thakin Nu, had not been in the council chamber. The governor persuaded Nu to take on the job and he was rapidly sworn in as acting prime minister. Nu was about the only person acceptable to both the British and most of the nationalist parties. As a kind of Buddhist socialist he seemed moderate to the British compared with most AFPFL leaders and the communists. Yet the latter knew that his instinct was for fairly radical land reform and the nationalization of 'vested interests'. Nu gathered what remained of the nationalist leadership around him. He also recruited a young journalist and nationalist, U Thant, to act as his press adviser and personal confidant. More practical than Nu, Thant became a power behind the scenes in AFPFL politics over the next few years. Later he became a diplomat and ended his career as UN secretary general. (June Bingham, U Thant of Burma: the search for peace, London, 1966, pp. 164--6). "
By mid August the vacuum left by the assassinations had been partially filled. The immediate attempt to bring the communists into government had failed. What was thought to be an auspicious day was chosen and the governor was called away from the golf course to swear in Nu and his colleagues. Rance could not find the oath of office, but luckily Tin Tut, a member of the new cabinet, had memorized it. Giving up on the communists, Nu spent much of the next two months trying to assuage the Karens and other minority groups and to disarm the restive PVO bands. The task seemed all the more urgent as every day brought news of fresh massacres across northern India, where Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were engaged in tit-for-tat killing. There was unfinished business to do with the British, too. The agreement at the start of the year between Aung San and Attlee had not tied up the loose ends of independence, especially on the financial side. The details were important especially because the communists were continuing to make political capital out of what they described as the 'rightist' AFPFL's compromise with the 'imperialists'. In September, therefore, Lord Listowel, secretary of state for Burma, visited Rangoon, while in October prime minister designate Nu flew to London for a final set of talks. Listowel's job was basically one of public relations. He took tea with Aung San's widow, Daw Khin Kyi, and her son and two-year-old daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi, and presented his condolences.
The following is another relevant work by  Tim Harper, Christopher Bayly.
Forgotten Wars:The End of Braintain's Asian Empire 

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