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Myanmar IIA Part II. Government/History 354 Campbell University. Margary Incident. In 1876, the British launched a two-way expedition to chart a RR route between Bhamo and Shanghai. Augustus Margary who had traveled from Shanghai was killed by tribesmen just inside China.

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myanmar iia part ii

Myanmar IIAPart II

Government/History 354

Campbell University

margary incident
Margary Incident
  • In 1876, the British launched a two-way expedition to chart a RR route between Bhamo and Shanghai. Augustus Margary who had traveled from Shanghai was killed by tribesmen just inside China.
  • Myanmar was blamed for the death.
  • Relations worsened. Official contact ended when the British refused to remove their shoes to enter the royal court.
factors leading to the 3 rd war
Factors Leading to the 3rd War
  • In 1885, wild speculation follows the French establishing a consulate in Mandalay.
  • A judgment was made against the Bombay-Burmah Trading Company by the Hluttaw for failure to pay for 57,995 Teak logs. Payment was ordered to be made to the defrauded foresters of L33,333, to the king of L36,661 in royalties plus an equal amount in fines.
  • A letter surfaced supposedly suggesting a Franco-Burmese military alliance. It was the The letter proved to be a forgery. It was supposedly found by Chevalier Andreino, an agent for the Irrawaddy Flottila Company, Italian counsul and secret British agent.
  • It was the perfect screen for the BBTC’s guilt.
the 3 rd anglo burmese war
The 3rd Anglo-Burmese War
  • Lord Randolph Churchill convinced the British government that it must preempt possible French intervention.
  • An ultimatum was sent to King Theebaw:
    • The BBTC case would be settled by the king in consultation with the viceroy’s representative.
    • All foreign affairs would conducted in accordance with the advice of the Indian government.
    • The British representative at royal court in Ava would wear his shoes and sword when meeting with the king. Additionally, he would be provided with a 1,000 soldier guard and a steamer fitted with cannon.
end of the burmese monarchy
End of the Burmese Monarchy
  • The king politely but categorically rejected the British ultimatum.
  • The British declared war. Mandalay was taken in 15 days. The king and his family were forced into exile in Madras on 45 minutes notice. They were subjected to the humiliation of being taken to a waiting ship in a bullock cart.
  • The insult sparked Burmese resistance. It took 30,000 men and five years to pacify the country.
  • Myanmar became of province of India until 1937.

by Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"    Come you back to Mandalay,    Where the old Flotilla lay:    Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?    On the road to Mandalay,    Where the flyin'-fishes play,    An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

rise of nationalism
Rise of Nationalism
  • Demands for independence parallel those in India.
    • 1906 - Founding of Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA). Becomes the General Council of Buddhist Associations (GCBA) in 1920.
    • 1922 – The General Council of Sangha Associations (GCSA) formed to coordinate the activities of political monks. Saya San leads a peasant rebellion (tax revolt) in the south. Defended by Ba Maw in 1931 trial.
    • 1929 – Dohbama Asiayone (We Burmans Ass.) established at Rangoon U. Produces the Thakin Party.
    • 1932 – Sinyetha (Poor Man’s)party founded by Ba Maw.
    • 1937 – The Red Dragon Book Club established.
rise of nationalism1
Rise of Nationalism
  • “On The Impropriety of Wearing Shoes on Pagoda Platforms” was written in 1916 by Led Sayadaw to protest British behavior. It reflects nationalist sentiments.
  • The Shwedagon Pagoda was built by the Mons. It’s 320 feet high and 1420 feet in circumference. It is covered with gold and jewels.
striving for independence
Striving for Independence
  • The tenor of political movements tended to suggest paranoia.
    • The YMBA/GCBA is offended when Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1919 are not applied to Burma. But when.dyarchy is extended to Myanmar in 1921, the YMBA/GCBA boycotts the act.
    • When the depression of 1929 hits the Burmese rice market (prices drop by 2/3), the Burmese claim it’s a British imperial plot.
    • When the previously demanded separation of Myanmar from India is proposed in 1929, it is seen as a ploy to avoid granting Burma independence. Self rule is granted in 1935.
entry into ww ii
Entry Into WW II
  • Ba Maw becomes first Premiere of Burma, 1937-39, but is jailed on sedition in 1940. Becomes head of Japanese puppet government until war ended, 1943-45.
  • Aung San organizes the Thirty Heroes in 1940 in response to offer of training by Colonel Suzuki Keiji. The Thirty Heroes return to Burma after training on Hainan Island. They become the core of the Burmese Independence Army (BIA).
world war ii
World War II
  • In 1942, the BIA supports Japanese invasion thru insurgency and sabotage. Ne Win infiltrates Rangoon.
  • 1943, Aung San becomes Minister of Defense and Commander of the Burma Defense Army in the Ba Maw government. U Nu becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • 1943-44, secret contacts are made with Force 136 and the Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League formed by Aung San as a resistance movement.
demands for independence
Demands for Independence
  • The AFPFL led a revolt against the Japanese in Upper Burma in 1945, hastening their defeat by the British. The Karen guerrillas did the same in the South around Toungoo.
  • The AFPFL demands immediate independence. Aung Sang forms a Council of Minister in 1946. AFPFL candidates are almost unanimously elected to the Constituency Assembly in 1947.
  • Aung San plus six associates are assassinated at the instigation of U Saw.
early independence government
Early Independence Government
  • U Nu assumes leadership of the AFPFL & becomes first premier of the Union of Burma in 1948.
  • Chooses not to join the British Commonwealth.
  • U Nu was a devout Buddhist, a socialist and an author of a novel and several plays, all highly critical of various forms of social injustice.

U Nu

early civilian government
Early Civilian Government
  • The government was conceived as a union, but did recognize ethnic groups. It followed the basic British parliamentary model:
    • Chamber of Nationalities – 125 seats representing ethnic groups within the population.
    • Chamber of Deputies (lower house) – 250 members elected from territorial constituencies.
    • Executive Branch headed by prime minister and a titular president elected by rotation from various ethnic groups.
  • The union model causes minorities to fear majority oppression.
  • In 1948, Than Tun leads a Communist insurrection involving 25,000 persons. Threatened oil fields and attempted a general strike. Suppressed only with Indian and British help.
  • In 1948-49, Karen National Defense Organizations demands an independent state. Early victories result in seizure of Moulmein, Bassein and Prome plus threaten Mandalay.
  • General Ne Win suppresses the Karens.
pyidawtha land of happiness
Pyidawtha (Land of Happiness)
  • U Nu sponsors a Buddhist religious revival. In 1956, hosted an international gathering of Buddhist scholars to commemorate 2,500 year anniversary of Buddhism.
  • In 1962, launched a four-year economic plan to improve education, health, housing, reclamation, irrigation, easy credit and eliminate old debts.
  • The plan flops. Trained civil servants who were needed to implement the plan had returned to India. They no longer felt welcome in Burma.
constitutional emergency
Constitutional Emergency
  • In 1958, factionalism leads to a split in the AFPFL. The Communist stage violent protests and the Shans and Kachins demand separate states.
  • U Nu declares an emergency and the army intervenes. General Ne Win assumes control of the government as prime minister.

Ne Win

military government
Military Government
  • In 1960, Ne Win permitted elections. U Nu regained control but faltered:
    • 1961 - Made Buddhism the state religion.
    • 1962 - Started negotiations with the Shan and other minorities to permit semi-autonomous states.
  • 1962 - Ne Win seized the government. U Nu and other politicians are placed under protective custody.
  • Ne Win forms the Burmese Socialist Program Party (BSPP). Seeks to rule as Aung San’s successor.
the burmese way of socialism
The Burmese Way of Socialism
  • Following the Soviet model, the BSPP organized all levels (national to village) and established the Peasants and Workers Council.
  • Almost every economic activity is nationalized including retail trade. Nothing is left except “people’s stores.”
  • By licensing the movement of rice, the government became the sole buyer.
  • The government proved incapable of managing the economy and the black market flourished.
the unitary state
The Unitary State
  • Ignoring U Nu’s recommendations for a return to the 1962 parliament, Ne Win gains approval of a new constitution in 1974. Recognition of minority ethnic status is totally eliminated.
  • In 1982, a citizenship act limits full citizenship to ethnic groups residing in Myanmar before 1923 (1st War). Excludes Indians.
  • Keeps Indians and Chinese out of BSPP, the Peoples Assembly and from heading government departments.
  • Citizenship status can be reclassified or revoked.
it s the economy
It’s The Economy
  • BSPP sought economic growth thru four five-year plans. Had one success:
    • A green revolution, called the Whole Township Special High-Yield Paddy Production Program raised yields from 36.8 baskets of rice per acre to 67.98.
  • The failures were a !00% inflation rate with 60% of the economy controlled by the black market.
  • In 1987, the government invalidates all 25, 45 and 75 kyat notes and the savings of its citizens.
  • By 1987 the U.N. declares Burma a Least Developed Country.
the tea shop incident
The Tea Shop Incident
  • In March 1988, a squabble between students and other patrons over the music being played in a tea shop in Rangoon leads to a riot and 41 students being suffocated in a police van. Massive and protracted demonstrations follow.
  • Ne Win resigned a chairman of the BSPP. General Sein Lwin (the butcher), the head of police security is appointed in his place. Even more demonstrations follow. In desperation, Dr. Muang Maung is appointed.
rangoon spring rebellion
Rangoon Spring & Rebellion
  • Dr. Maung Maung was a civilian scholar and biographer of Ne Win. For about a month, free speech, assembly and press were tolerated.
  • On September 18, 1988, Maung Maung’s civilian government is replaced in a coup by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) under General Saw Muang on Ne Win’s orders.
  • Suppression is brutal. The loss of life is about 3,000. Tens of thousands flee the country.
the annulled election
The Annulled Election
  • In 1990, promised election for the Peoples Assembly are held under extremely restrictive circumstances. The SLORC is represented by the Unity Party. The National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi is the principal opposition.
  • The winner with 396 out of 485 seats is the NLD.

National League for Democracy

The SLORC refuses to turn over power.

slorc reforms
SLORC Reforms
  • In 1992, the government feared the loss of its seat in the U.N. Several reforms were made:
    • General Saw Muang is replaced by Gen Than Shwe.
    • A number of political prisoners were released including U Nu.
    • Permission was granted for Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate family to visit her from England.
    • The government suspended fighting minorities.
    • Martial law was ended.
    • Colleges and universities were allowed to reopen.
    • A constitutional convention was scheduled.
slorc s constitutional convention
SLORC’s Constitutional Convention
  • A constitutional convention was held between 1993 and 1996. It was reconvened in 2004.
    • The SLORC nominated all the delegates from each division, state and district.
    • The tatmadaw (military elite) representatives were appointed to the convention.
    • The convention met only sporadically.
    • The convention only produced a set of guidelines.
      • One guideline barred citizens who married foreigners from being elected to the legislature, e.g., Aung San Suu Kyi.
      • Another declared that only the military was capable of leading the country.
dealing with ethnic minorities
Dealing with Ethnic Minorities
  • The SLORC did achieve success in reaching agreements with many ethnic minorities between 1992 & 1996.
    • Signed agreements promising local autonomy and participation in the country’s political processes.
    • In January 1995, defeated the Karen Nation Union (KNU) forces.
    • In November 1995, cornered Khun Sa, the half-Chinese drug lord and his Mong Tai Army. Khun Sa decided to retire.
  • The United Wa State Army (UWSA) remains.
  • Legislature:
    • The Pyithu Hluttaw is a unicameral body elected in single member districts. 29 members of the legislature are chosen to be the Council of State. The Council of State nominates a Council of Ministers for the legislature to approve. The Prime Minister and Ministers conduct the day-to-day business of government.
    • The legislature elected in 1990 has never met.
  • Military:
    • 190,000 member Tatmadaw.
    • The current State Peace and Development Council is composed of 19 members led by a ruling troika.
    • Buddhist monks who number 400,000 are the only comparable group. The military fears the possibility of monastic rebellion.
  • Political Parties.
    • Until 1989, the only party was the BSPP. It became the National Unity Party in 1988.
    • After 1989, over 200 parties registered. Most supported a single candidacy. A political parties qualified for access to telephones and extra rations of gasoline, could display sign boards and hold meetings of 5 or less people.
    • The NLD was the strongest opposition party.
  • Minority Ethnic Groups.
    • Minority groups view themselves in terms of ethnicity. They do not trust the central government and banded together as the National Democratic Front.
    • Many of the political parties in the 1990 election supported autonomy under a federal umbrella government.
    • The opium trade has supported minority insurgency and the Communist party.
  • Women:
    • Women have equal inheritance rights and retain their own name in marriage. However, they generally play subordinate roles at the national level.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi is a notable exception. She is the relative a martyred national hero, has instant name recognition, iswell educated, is an eloquent orator, brilliant, has impeccable character and courage. Many compare her to Corazon Aquino.
  • Economy:
    • Burma can be compared to Thailand in terms of natural resources and fertile soil. In the 1950’s, they had comparable GNPs.
    • What happened?
      • Colonization by the British leading to an inferiority complex and distaste for the west.
      • Voluntary isolation as a means of assuring political control.
    • The Thai economy grew from a per capita GNP in 1950 of $100 to $3,000 in 1997. The Burmese per capita GNP only grew to $700 in the same period.
    • The current rate of GNP growth is about 4%.
  • Foreign Policy:
    • The Burmese would agree, “It’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you.”
    • Burma has been occupied twice, once by Britain and a second time by Japan. Their neighbors (China, India and Thailand) are far larger and more powerful and have supported dissident groups within Burma.
    • Further, the Burmese are concerned that Chinese and Indian minorities control a disproportionate share of the Burmese economy.
  • Foreign Policy (Cont’d):
    • Relations with west and its neighbors other than Thailand are cool. Aid programs were suspended in the face of human rights violations. Example:
      • Leo Nichols, honorary consul of Norway, Sweden and Denmark was sentenced to three years prison time in 1996 for owning a FAX machine. He was tortured to death in prison.
    • Myanmar joined ASEAN in 1997. ASEAN members seek constructive engagement rather than isolation.
    • Trade relations with Thailand began in 1998 when concessions were negotiated to extract teak logs.