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  • Burma/Myanmar junta’s connection to Japanese Imperial Army

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on May 15th, 2008

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    Hi Blog. It’s been a mystery to me for years now why Burma (now Myanmar basically by military junta whim) has become such a basket case–moving from being the richest country in SE Asia to the poorest over two generations–and one that cares more about putting down protesting monks than helping out its cyclone-ravaged people.

    Here’s one reason hinted at by a journalist: historical connections to the Imperial Japanese Army–and how it got its template to suppress a citizenry from Wartime Japan.

    It may also be another reason why the GOJ is still surprisingly cosy with the Burmese junta, to the point of muting criticism even when a Japanese journalist gets shot by the Burmese military (imagine what would happen if that had occurred in, say, China or North Korea!). Comment follows article:

    ============================
    Why Burma has been trashed for 46 years
    The Japan Times: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080514gd.html
    By GWYNNE DYER

    LONDON — The Burmese regime is not to blame for the powerful cyclone that struck the Irrawaddy Delta and Yangon early this month, killing up to a hundred thousand people. But it certainly will be to blame for the next wave of deaths if aid does not soon reach the survivors.

    A hundred years ago, the victims of such a catastrophe were on their own, but there are now well-established routines for getting help in quickly from outside. We saw them at work in the same region during the tsunami that killed at least twice as many people in 2004. Nothing could be done for those who died in the first fury of the event, but relatively few died from disease, injuries, exposure or sheer hunger or thirst in the days and weeks that followed.

    Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India — the nations worst hit by the 2004 tsunami — are reasonably well-run countries that were able to help their own citizens, and they had no hesitation in welcoming international aid as well. Burma (which got off lightly in 2004) is very different. The question is: why?

    What sane government would block the entry of foreigners bringing exactly the kind of help that is needed — people whose professional lives are devoted to disaster relief — when at least a tenth of the country’s people are living in the open, with little access to food or clean water?

    The short answer is that the generals who rule Burma are ill-educated, superstitious, fearful men whose first priority is protecting their power and their privileges.

    They almost lost both during the popular demonstrations led by Buddhist monks last year, and they are terrified that letting large numbers of foreigners in now might somehow destabilize the situation again. They are sitting atop a volcano, and they know it.

    But that is not really a complete answer, for it begs the question: Why has Burma fallen into the hands of people like that not just for a few years, but for 4 1/2 decades? Thailand has the occasional short-lived military coup, Indonesia had its problems with Sukarno and Suharto, and Cambodia had the horrors of Year Zero, but no other country in the region has been misgoverned so badly for so long.

    It seems incredible now, when neighboring Thailand has four times Burma’s per capita income, that at independence in 1948 Burma was the richest country in Southeast Asia. With huge resources, a high literacy rate, and good infrastructure by the standards of the time (due to the British Empire’s obsession with railways and irrigation projects), it seemed fated to succeed. Instead it has drifted steadily downward, and is now the poorest country in the region.

    The problem is the army, obviously, but why is the army such a problem? Perhaps it is the legacy of the “Thirty Comrades.” Rarely has such a small group of people dominated a whole country’s history for so long.

    The Thirty Comrades were a group of young Burmese students (average age 24) who went abroad in early 1941 to seek military training so they could come home and launch a rebellion against British rule. Most of them were more or less Communist in orientation, and their original intention was to get training from the Chinese Communists.

    By chance they fell in with the Japanese instead. They returned under the wing of the Japanese invaders at the end of the year as the “Burma Independence Army,” but switched sides in 1944 when it became clear that the Japanese would lose the war. They combined the authoritarian traditions of the Imperial Japanese Army with the ruthless ideological certainty of militant Marxism, and they dominated the army of the new republic from its independence in 1948.

    It was this army, the nastiest behavioral stew imaginable, that seized power in 1962 and has ruled Burma ever since. The last of the Thirty Comrades, Ne Win, only retired in 1988, and continued to exercise great influence from behind the scenes until only 10 years ago.

    Whatever ideology the army once had is long gone. It has become so corrupt that Burma ties with Somalia for last place on Transparency International’s corruption index. The country exists merely to serve its armed forces, which have never shown any hesitation in shooting citizens who question their right to rule.

    Its commanders are fully aware that most Burmese hate their rulers, and fear that the presence of a large number of foreigners might serve as a spark for another popular uprising. Even if another million and a half lives depend on the rapid delivery of emergency aid to the desperate survivors in the delta, as Oxfam fears, the army will severely restrict the entry of foreign aid personnel as long as it can resist the international pressure to let them in.

    Hundreds are probably dying each hour who could be saved if the food, shelter, water purification equipment and medical teams could pour in as they usually do after a disaster, but the army is half a million strong, so nobody is going to fight their way in. The Burmese, as usual, are on their own.

    Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.
    The Japan Times: Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    ENDS
    ==============================

    COMMENT: Regarding GOJ cosiness, according to the Japan Policy Research Institute:

    ====================
    While the Japanese Foreign Ministry claims to be engaged in a “quiet dialogue” with the junta to promote democratization, business interests have turned a blind eye to politics and lobbied for full economic engagement, including new aid. As early as June 1994, Keidanren, the powerful Federation of Economic Organizations, sent a special fifty-man mission headed by Marubeni chairman Kazuo Haruna to Rangoon to meet with the junta’s top brass. In the wake of the mission, many Japanese companies, especially banks, opened branch offices in Rangoon. Two years later, in May 1996, Keidanren upgraded its informal study group in Burma to a “Japan-Myanmar Economic Committee.” The timing was less than opportune, for SLORC was then in the middle of a crackdown on the NLD about which the Japanese government expressed great concern….

    “In a special year-end issue of Asiaweek (December 1997), [economic pundit Ken’ichi ] Ohmae disparaged Suu Kyi’s 1990 election victory, again linking her to the United States: “The West knows Myanmar through one person, Aung San Suu Kyi. The obsession with Suu Kyi is a natural one if you understand the United States. Superficial democracy is golden in the U.S.: Americans love elections. Just as Myanmar is Buddhist, and Malaysia is Islamic, America has a religion called democracy.”
    ====================
    JPRI Working Paper No. 60: September 1999, Japan’s “Burma Lovers” and the Military Regime, by Donald M. Seekins
    http://jpri.org/publications/workingpapers/wp60.html

    This is a tangent to Debito.org, but an interesting one to follow. People with more knowledge on this (since it also offers some insight into the GOJ’s general attitude towards human rights) are welcome to comment. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
    ENDS

    15 Responses to “Burma/Myanmar junta’s connection to Japanese Imperial Army”

    1. HO Says:

      Burmese do not accept aids from UK, because they hate the British more than anything else due to the history of cruel colonial government by the British. During the colonial period, the Burmese were discriminated by the British and by the Indians who were brought to Burma by the British. You know. The British make laws, Burmese obey.
      The article is written by a British. UK has a vested interest in white washing their wrongdoing and make someone else look like responsible for what the British are actually responsible.

      –Or maybe a Team-Japan Troll like yourself has a vested interest in your own whitewashing of history…?

    2. LB Says:

      –Or maybe a Team-Japan Troll like yourself has a vested interest in your own whitewashing of history…?

      Or maybe a team anti-Japan troll like yourself has a vested interest in making Japan look bad? British colonial rule in Burma was spectacularly bad. The historical record bears this out, and was why the Burmese were initially quite happy to help the Japanese drive the British out. You asked for people with “knowledge” to comment – apparently what you meant to say was “people who show their “knowledge” of how to bash Japan along with me are welcome to comment.”

      –Funny how people who don’t identify themselves (whereas there are thousands of pages outlining who I am and what my past actions are) are quick to label ME a troll. Begs the question if you really know what a “troll” is in this circumstance. Anyhow…

      If you have been reading “HO’s” posts for the past several months, there is one common thread: the constant excusing of Japan and playing games with points. And if “HO” is so knowledgeable, he was welcome to back up his claims with some links. He didn’t. People who keep playing intellectual cat and mouse deserve the occasional snipe. You are also welcome to comment with more than mere assertions, since you are apparently citing a historical record somehow too. Do so and be less of a troll yourself.

      I am not anti-Japan. I am pointing out things my country needs to work on to make itself a better nation, both internally and externally. If criticism of our country makes you uncomfortable, don’t read this website.

    3. LB Says:

      Criticism of our country does not bother me. Hatemongering (The Japanese government and police condone the murder of foreigners by their citizens), rumormongering (Gaijin Hanzai File was published by the Japanese police), spreading misinformation, half-truths and outright lies, dragging innocent people into your “fights” just to make a point – these things bother me. Deleting corrections to errors that appear here in order to preserve your version of the “truth” bothers me. I could, and probably should, skip reading your site. But then again, all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing.

      Funny for you to claim people should comment with more than “mere assertions”. I thought you were quite clear in your latest op-ed that assertions unsupported by numbers were perfectly acceptable? Or is that only YOUR unsupportable assertions that are acceptable?

      –Wow, who put the mean pill in your coffee this morning? I’ve been called many things, but this is a first for being called “evil”. Ah well. Enjoy the rest of your day.

    4. Martin Says:

      Here it goes again. h0 your rhetoric reminds me of people who defend Israel (please, do not tell that I am antisemite), instead of finding an answer proving the Other is wrong, they just change subject. ie.: Israel’s Army bombed and killed civilians “by accident”. (here would be your reply) Well, arab terrorists are killing innocents. (yeah, but the point here is not about the “terrorists”, but about Israel’s bombing, let’s talk about the “terrorists” after). Another example: Why did you put peanut butter on your pizza? (your answer) Why did you put blue cheese on your pizza ? (were talking about your pizza dude, not mine, let’s talk about my blue cheese pizza later). After all, the Burma-Thailand railway (I’ve seen it with my own eyes) was built in horrible conditions by “whities POWs” under the control of the good Japanese Imperial Army who came to rescue the Burmese (they weren’t looking for natural resources at all, they were looking for Waldo, or was it Warudo??).

      If the same thing that just happened in Burma (you know, the hurricane) would happen in Korea, would the Koreans refuse Japan’s aid? Did you know that Korea was not only colonized by Japan, but Koreans themselves were assimilated. The Japanese make laws, Koreans obey (bang, sucker punch, it hurts eh?). I just heard that the Chinese accepted Japan’s aid in the post-earthquake rescue effort? Should they have refused it? Oh no, I forgot that the Japanese Imperial Army went to China to rescue them from colonization (I wonder why Communists and Nationalists fought against the Japanese Army, they didn’t understand the “real” reason why they were invaded, euh, liberated). Yeah I know, I didn’t forget the Opium War and the bad “whities”. But you still remind me of the Chinese Communist Party. They say that Chinese were mistreated by foreign countries (fact), but they’ll never speak a word about the Cultural Revolution (fact), the goulags a la Chinese (fact) or the Tiananmen Massacre (fact).

      We were talking about Burma right (you influence me…) ? Burma is a dictatorship which beats, kills and controls it own citizens (ethnic minorities included). They are the ones doing bad things NOW. We’re in 2008 dude, not 1949… Maybe they feel resentment towards the British, but in such a time of catastrophe, they should think of their own people instead of saving the face. I met a girl a couple of years ago who actually went to Myanmar and found herself in a “forbidden zone”, where ethnic minorities grow a certain kind of plant…she ended up in prison. The Burmese government has a lot of things to hide. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not negating the fact that foreign forces (Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, (including Japan)…) were invading and exploiting other countries. I’m open-minded and pretty aware of those facts. Most countries did it, either recently or in the past (yeah, Vietnam was “colonized” by China for about 1000 years, let’s not forget the Roman Empire and many many others). Now, let’s talk about neo-Imperialism a la americana…

    5. E.P Lowe Says:

      HO,

      >Burmese do not accept aids from UK, because they hate the British more than anything else due
      >to the history of cruel colonial government by the British.

      First, who are the ‘Burmese’ you talk about at the start of your first sentence? The military junta perhaps?

      Second, if the ‘Burmese’ (as opposed to the Junta) hate the British so much, why would a person like Aung San Suu Kyi be revered by normal Burmese? She married a Briton, and went to university in the UK!

      Third, could we have some examples of the ‘cruel colonial government by the British’ in Burma?

      >During the colonial period, the Burmese were discriminated by the British and by the Indians
      >who were brought to Burma by the British. You know.

      No, I don’t ‘know’. Less hearsay and more facts please HO.

      >The British make laws, Burmese obey.

      Hardly uncommon for the colonial period. You might as well write “The Americans make laws, Phillipinos obey.” or “The Japanese make laws, Koreans obey.” I could continue in that vein for many pages – but I’ll finish the example with The Burmese make laws, Arikanese (and Manipurese, Assamese, Siamese, Thais) obey.” Yes, the Burmese were colonialists too!

      >The article is written by a British.

      That’s what’s called an ad hominem attack. If you can’t attack the facts presented – you attack the author. It’s a pretty sure sign that the arguer (that’s you HO) can’t actually refute the facts.

      By the way, a resident of Britain is called a Briton, not a ‘British’

      >UK has a vested interest in white washing their wrongdoing and make someone else look like
      >responsible for what the British are actually responsible.

      And if you told us what they were responsible for, it would help.

      I think you’re doing the old Japanese thing of ‘avoiding shame at all costs’.

      It causes seeminly rational Japanese people to deny the Nanking Massacre, mass rapes and murders in World War Two, the colonisation of Korea and China, etc. It causes people to throw such scientific concepts as ‘perspective’ out the window so they can disregard atrocity photos as fakes. What it actually does is make them look like fools.

      So, what do you think about the Burmese National Army – trained by the Imperial Japanese Forces who eventually got sick of Imperial Japanese excesses and racism that they kicked them out – with British and Allied help?

      What do you think of the fact that the ‘cruel British’ just gave independence to Burma and a host of other countries without a fight?

      What do you think of the fact that the ‘cruel’ UK founded the Commonwealth – an organisation with voluntary membership that includes most of the nations formerly ruled by Britain?

      Even the nations who didn’t join the Commonwealth have mostly cordial relations with the ‘cruel’ UK – including the US and the Republic of Ireland (which has reciprocal citizenship rights with the UK!).

      I await your reply HO.

    6. Jib Halyard Says:

      btw, Gwynne Dyer is not British. He’s Canadian (Newfoundlander, to be precise)

    7. HO Says:

      E.P Lowe, do you want to defend and glorify the colonial rule of Burma by UK? If the answer is yes, I will give you the detail. If the answer is no, we have no disagreement here.

      Aung San Suu Kyi is supported by Burmese, just because she is a daughter of General Aung San, the father of Burma, who is the leader of the “Thirty Comrades” trained by Imperial Japan. But for General Aung San, Burma would not have been able to win independence. I am not giving credit to Imperial Japan. Imperial Japan used him. He used Imperial Japan, and betrayed it for the people of Burma. I think he did the right thing.

      I do not support military government. But general resentment of Burmese against UK is still there, and they will not accept UK aids anyway.

    8. LB Says:

      “Second, if the ‘Burmese’ (as opposed to the Junta) hate the British so much, why would a person like Aung San Suu Kyi be revered by normal Burmese? She married a Briton, and went to university in the UK!”

      I’ll answer this one, it’s an easy one that anyone who knows what they are talking about can answer: because of her father. That trumps most anything else anyone can say about her. That, and she has the support of the Buddhist clergy. Those two facts give her a free pass on any British connections for a lot of Burmese.

    9. E.P Lowe Says:

      >E.P Lowe, do you want to defend and glorify the colonial rule of Burma by UK? If the answer is
      >yes, I will give you the detail. If the answer is no, we have no disagreement here.

      Ah, another twisted answer, a bit like the classic “When did you stop beating your wife”. I do want the details, because all you’ve been saying you haven’t backed up with facts – but no, I don’t want to ‘glorify’ the colonial rule of Burma. Facts please!

      >But for General Aung San, Burma would not have been able to win independence. I am not giving
      >credit to Imperial Japan. Imperial Japan used him. He used Imperial Japan, and betrayed it for
      >the people of Burma.

      I don’t know how you can say Burma would not have been able to win independence without Aung San. There was a lot of decolonisation after the war, and not all of it involved Generals.

      >I do not support military government. But general resentment of Burmese against UK is still
      >there, and they will not accept UK aids anyway.

      Seems just like hearsay to me.

    10. E.P Lowe Says:

      >“Second, if the ‘Burmese’ (as opposed to the Junta) hate the British so much, why would a person
      >like Aung San Suu Kyi be revered by normal Burmese? She married a Briton, and went to university
      >in the UK!”

      >I’ll answer this one, it’s an easy one that anyone who knows what they are talking about can
      >answer: because of her father. That trumps most anything else anyone can say about her. That, and
      >she has the support of the Buddhist clergy. Those two facts give her a free pass on any British
      >connections for a lot of Burmese.

      I know about her father. I was just wondering if anyone has any facts about anti-British sentiment in the general Burmese population.

      You know – facts, as opposed to the anti-British sentiment that grows eternal courtesy of Hollywood’s slanderous fiction.

      Facts please!

    11. HO Says:

      E.P Lowe,
      >Ah, another twisted answer, a bit like the classic “When did you stop beating your wife”.
      Actually, I gave you a chance to retreat from this argument. It seems you want to put yourself in an awkward position.

      Do you know how the Second Anglo-Burmese War started? Two British seamen killed a Burmese, and the Burmese governor there fined them for the murder. The UK demanded that the governor be replaced, and started a war against Burma. UK won and stole Pegu province from Burma.

      The third Anglo-Burmese War started when Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation which is a British company evaded Burmese tax and was fined by Burmese government for tax evasion. UK started aggression. It won and stripped rest of Burma from the innocent king. He and his family died in extreme poverty for doing nothing wrong.

      Still not enough?

      “What do you think of the fact that the ‘cruel’ UK founded the Commonwealth – an organisation with voluntary membership that includes most of the nations formerly ruled by Britain?”

      Burma has never been a member of Commonwealth. Do you know why? Because they hate UK.

      “What do you think of the fact that the ‘cruel British’ just gave independence to Burma and a host of other countries without a fight?”

      And you would say Burma is forever indebted for the generosity of UK. Hey, UK just returned what they stole. UK could not keep Burma because Burma Independence Army had grown in number. What else do you think the reason UK allowed independence? It became altruistic? No way.

      –Classic trollery. Now the argument is going a long way from the original point, of connecting the Japanese Imperial Army with the current Burmese junta… SITYS…

    12. E.P Lowe Says:

      HO,

      >Do you know how the Second Anglo-Burmese War started? Two British seamen killed a Burmese, and
      >the Burmese governor there fined them for the murder. The UK demanded that the governor be
      >replaced, and started a war against Burma. UK won and stole Pegu province from Burma.

      Really? Could you provide some references? What I have on the matter is that Maung Ok, the Pegu Governor charged the captains of two British ships with murder, embezzlement and evading custom duties in order to extort money. After being forced to pay a ‘fine’ the capatins were released. The captains then complained of their treatment to British authorites, setting the stage for war. That’s from: “In Search of Southeast Asia: A Modern History”, by Chandler and Steinberg, Univerity of Hawaii and “Burma” by D.G.E. Hall.

      Maung Ok was well-known for such deeds. It could have been worst though, two of King Pagan’s other governors, Maung Baing Zat and Maung Bhein just killed rich Burmese on trumped-up charges to get their wealth. It’s estimated 6,000 people died at their hands.

      From the Burmese side, Thant Myint-U’s “The Making of Modern Burma” states that the fines were imposed by Governor Ok for “reported customs violations”.

      So HO – can you provide me with a few references for this ‘killing’ by ‘British seamen’?

      >The third Anglo-Burmese War started when Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation which is a British
      >company evaded Burmese tax and was fined by Burmese government for tax evasion.

      Really HO. I did a bit of work getting the references on the Second Anglo-Burmese War, so why don’t you provide references for your assertion. Until you do I’d think such ‘tax-evasion’ was another extortion attempt – given the records on the lead-up to the Second War.

      >Still not enough?

      Yup, not enought – facts please instead of unsubstantiated ranting.

      >Burma has never been a member of Commonwealth. Do you know why? Because they hate UK.

      So what – I never claimed they did. And you still have yet to prove Burma’s hate for the UK. Facts please! The Republic of Ireland and the United States are not Commonwealth Members, but they don’t hate the UK…

      >Hey, UK just returned what they stole. UK could not keep Burma because Burma Independence Army
      >had grown in number. What else do you think the reason UK allowed independence? It became
      >altruistic? No way.

      Huh? “Stole” is a loaded word. “Conquered” might be a better one. By the way, the Burma Independence Army was disbanded in 1942 – so I think you’ve got some facts wrong. Their eventual successors, the Patriotic Burmese Forces, were disarmed by British Forces – with their consent, after the war.

      Please note that the British gave the Burmese a referendum on independence from British India in 1935, and they honoured the result – setting Burma up as a Self-Governing Colony, with it’s own elected Prime Ministers. That’s a big step to independence. Very cruel eh?

    13. HO Says:

      E.P Lowe
      What is your point regarding the Second Anglo-Burmese War? You just endorsed the facts I raised. The two British captains paid the fine, which means they admitted their murder, doesn’t it?
      Their complaint was only regarding to their treatment, wasn’t it?

      “Maung Ok was well-known for such deeds.”
      Is this also in the book you mentioned? If not, prove it.

      As to the argument about the Commonwealth, it was you that raised the issue. And now you say it is irrelevant. People may well see you trying to misguide.

      “The Republic of Ireland and the United States are not Commonwealth Members, but they don’t hate the UK.”
      I am not so sure if the Irish do not hate the UK.

      “Huh? “Stole” is a loaded word. “Conquered” might be a better one.”
      So, you want to glorify colonization. May I call you a colonialist?

      “By the way, the Burma Independence Army was disbanded in 1942.”
      “the Patriotic Burmese Forces, were disarmed by British Forces – with their consent, after the war.”
      They changed their names a couple of times, but they kept their identity as a military group under Gen. Aung San.

      “Please note that the British gave the Burmese a referendum on independence from British India in 1935″

      Excuse me. “Independence from British India”? Burma stayed a colony of UK, before and after its “Independence from British India”. I am afraid you are just trying to misguide readers here.

      ———————————————
      HO, knock off the trollery and invective. Either redo this post within 24 hours (May 21st 9PM JST) with sources, substantiations and links as E.P Lowe has, or I will delete this post.

      As for everyone else, sorry, but until we get a revised response from HO, DO NOT FEED THE TROLL with a response. Your comments will not be approved.

      If HO chooses not to respond properly, this thread stops here, and HO will join the ranks of other trolls with automatically-spammed messages from now on.

    14. HO Says:

      Debito, what do I need to show you?

      As to the cause of the Second Anglo-Burmese War, I do not see any factual difference between E.P Lowe and me.
      http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mmrwgw/

      It seems E.P Lowe wants to suggest the murder charge was a false accusation. No one can prove either way now, but in “The Origins of Second Anglo-Burmese War”, Oliver Pollak at UCLA writes,
      “Historical accounts of the Second Anglo-Burmese War(1852-1853) emphasize national bias, monocausality and events immediately preceding the outbreak of hostilities. Asian historians find Europeans culpable.” “Despite imperial apologetics, critical Englishmen felt unease at the “double government’s” Blue Book coverup and sought with mixed success to disclose the “whole ugly truth”.”
      http://www.jstor.org/pss/312230

      Historian Maung Htin Aung writes in his book “History of Burma”,
      “To add further insult to the Burmese people, Lord Dufferin declared Burma a province of India. Guerrilla warfare broke out immediately against the British occupation army, who declared them bandits to be killed on sight. Whole villages, thousands of people, including women and children, were executed. Peace ultimately prevailed after the royal family, most of the village headmen, and many of the guerillas and their families were dead at the hands of the British soldiers.”
      I could not find his book online, but here is a quote on page 65.
      http://www.cod.edu/larts/essai3.pdf

    15. E.P Lowe Says:

      >As to the cause of the Second Anglo-Burmese War, I do not see any factual difference between
      > E.P Lowe and me.
      >http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mmrwgw/

      Well, seeing as that site states this:

      “In 1851, King Bagan imprisoned some British officials for murder, which the British used as an excuse for the Second Anglo-Burmese War.”

      This suggests that the ‘British officials’ were murderers, I see a big factual difference.

      More factual differences: you said “British Seamen” and your link says “British Officials” – both are inaccurate. Academic books state “British shipowners” or “British captains”.

      Also, it wasn’t King Pagan who imprisoned the Britons, it was Maung Ok – another inaccuracy!

      >It seems E.P Lowe wants to suggest the murder charge was a false accusation. No one can prove
      >either way now, but in “The Origins of Second Anglo-Burmese War”,

      Yes they can. Academic accounts of the affair show a tendency in Burmese society for official extortion, and back the ‘extortion’ side. You post links that cannot even correctly identify the status of the Britons held hostage!

      >Oliver Pollak at UCLA writes,
      >“Historical accounts of the Second Anglo-Burmese War(1852-1853) emphasize national bias,
      >monocausality and events immediately preceding the outbreak of hostilities. Asian historians
      >find Europeans culpable.” “Despite imperial apologetics, critical Englishmen felt unease at the
      >“double government’s” Blue Book coverup and sought with mixed success to disclose the “whole
      >ugly truth”.”

      To distill that: Each side has their own slant on history, everyone simplifies things. Anyone with an ounce of wit knows that.

      >Historian Maung Htin Aung writes in his book “History of Burma”, “To add further insult to the
      >Burmese people, Lord Dufferin declared Burma a province of India. Guerrilla warfare broke out
      >immediately against the British occupation army, who declared them bandits to be killed on
      >sight. Whole villages, thousands of people, including women and children, were executed. Peace
      >ultimately prevailed after the royal family, most of the village headmen, and many of the
      >guerillas and their families were dead at the hands of the British soldiers.”
      >I could not find his book online, but here is a quote on page 65.

      That is a quote from the author of the essay HO, one Kathy Kozak – not Htin Aung. If you had taken any time at all to read it you would have realised that.

      Considering she writes things like:

      “They were also forced to agree to a commercial treaty with the East India Company which gave the Britscontrol of all commerce” (Page 73 of the PDF)

      It seems to be an essay with a lot of bigotry against the British.

      By the way, despite the Royal Family being “dead at the hands of the British soldiers”, the Royal Family were exiled and King Thibaw Min died in 1916 – long after the Third Anglo-Burma war you refer to! See the book “Deposed King Thibaw of Burma in India, 1885-1916″ by Walter Sadgun Desai.

      Now, on Maung Htin Aung himself. We have, from the Journal of the American Oriental Society,Vol. 90, No. 2 (Apr-Jun 1970) a review of Aung’s “A History of Burma”, by Professor John F. Cady
      http://www.jstor.org/pss/598200

      “Htin Aung’s History is an ex parte (one sided) account devoid of documentation or any other evidence of critical examination of the available sources. He reports with obvious satisfaction that his rival, Than Tun, on Feburary 12, 1965, made a public recantation of (Professor) Luce’s theories regarding (King) Pagan in Rangoon’s official Working People’s Daily.”

      That reflects badly on Aung, and also shows the academic environment of Junta Burma – requiring recantations in government papers. Very Stalinist!

      Further on the review states:

      “…dates are wrong, most interpretations are emotionally colored, and numerous misstatements occur”

      But the best bit of the review is on Htin Aung’s discussion with his editor at the end of the book:

      “In the concluding post-independence discussion, coaxed out by a dialogue with the editor, all the actors are heroes. Premier Nu (Deposed by a military coup d’etat in 1962) simply got weary of the burdens of governing in 1958 and again in 1962 and turned them over to his long-time associate, General Ne Win. Since 1962, the General has “looked to the Burmese past to create the Burmese future [determined]…to follow the ‘Burmese way’ in all aspects of life….To set an example to his officers and to the people,he [abandonned overnight his worldly ways and ] became an austere recluse whose only form of recreation was to play a round of golf by himself on a lonely course”.

      That neatly brings us back to the original topic. The Junta. It’s obvious that Htin Aung is a big supporter of the Junta, and all he writes is to support it.

      More on Htin Aung’s book can be found in “In Search of Southeast Asia: A Modern History”, by Chandler and Steinberg, Univerity of Hawaii.

      On page 499 of that book we have:

      “Htin Aung, A History of Burma (1967), is an idiosyncratic nationalist history by a lawyer and dramatist.”

      Now, coming back to your original message:

      “Burmese do not accept aids from UK, because they hate the British more than anything else ”

      I’ll say this – if you mean the Burmese Junta – I would accept that. If you mean the Burmese people – you have not proved your case.

      I’ll also note that you seem to go in for sweeping statements that indicate a narrow viewpoint, like “Burmese do not”, “they hate UK”. That could be seen as arrogant – you speaking for the Burmese people. You do seem to have a hatred for British people too, e.g. “The article is written by a British”.

      And one last thing, about your sweeping statement in your second-last post:

      “I am not so sure if the Irish do not hate the UK.”

      I’m from Northern Ireland, and have countless relatives in both the North and the Irish Republic.

      Some wouldn’t like the UK, but they wouldn’t hate it. Some wouldn’t like the things done in Ireland in the name of the UK – but have no problems with the UK now. Many would see history as being in the past, and have no problems with the UK. Some love the UK.

      Note, none hate the UK.

      It might be an idea to stop seeing people as monolithic stereotypes HO. You’ll enter a bigger world then.

      E.P.Lowe

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