Burma, Aung San and Aung San Suu Kyi
·1930s nationalism developed against the British, two prominent nationalists were Aung San and U Nu.
·Only in 1937, Burma became a colonial entity in its own right, instead of being a province of India.
·Like in many countries in Asia, nationalists left Burma for Japan (the centre of a new Asian independence against the dominance of the west).
·They wanted to learn the ideas of Japan’s emergence onto the world stage in competition with the western powers.
·The Burmese were impressed by the anti-colonial propaganda.
·Aung San was part of the ‘thirty comrades’ who received military training in Japan.
·They returned in 1942 after the Japanese attack on the Southeast Asian European colonies with the Japanese army to fight in Burma.
·Despite welcoming Japanese rule, as it was presented as the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japanese rule was just as exploitative and brutal as the British.
·By 1944 Aung San and fellow members of the ‘thirty comrades formed the ‘Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League’.
·The AFPFC activities against the Japanese made Aung San a Burmese hero and meant Britain would have to negotiate with him after the war.
After World War 2
·Britain planned to move Burma towards self-government gradually.
But that would be very hard to do, due to all the reforms introduced by the Japanese.
So until that was possible it would cancel all the Japanese and rule directly (like before the war) so it could successfully reconstruct the economy.
However, this would be impossible because of the power and impact of the Japanese occupation on the people and the strength and will of the people’s wish for independence.
Britain didn't have the resources to fight to keep Burma, so a deal would need to be made with the Burmese.
·January ’47 Aung San led a delegation to Britain to negotiate an election.
·April ’47 Aung San’s group easily won the 1st election.
·July ’47 Aung San and six Cabinet members were assassinated by political rivals and made it hard to create a consensus government.
·Jan ’48 the deputy leader U Nu replaced Aung San.