The Peacock's Children: The Struggle for Freedom in Burma 1885-Present

Overview

The Peacock's Children records the struggle for independence, democracy and human rights in Burma from the fall of the monarchy and the British occupation, up to present times. For the initial period of the study, the author draws on valuable material concerning the British colonial period and its response to nationalist and student protests, drawn mainly from the archives of the British Library-Indian and Oriental Collection, London. Post-colonial material is complemented by the author's own extensive travel and...

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Overview

The Peacock's Children records the struggle for independence, democracy and human rights in Burma from the fall of the monarchy and the British occupation, up to present times. For the initial period of the study, the author draws on valuable material concerning the British colonial period and its response to nationalist and student protests, drawn mainly from the archives of the British Library-Indian and Oriental Collection, London. Post-colonial material is complemented by the author's own extensive travel and personal interviews in Burma, Thailand and Australia.

The account is at times a harrowing one, underscoring the repeatedly dashed hopes for freedom, as well as the confusion and contradictions among Burmese themselves as to the most effective path to be followed to achieve true independence. Regrettably, despite the ongoing struggle, sacrifice and bloodshed of many heroic Burmese, little seems to have changed over the past several decades, for Burmese democracy seems as elusive today as ever.

An essential record and valuable reference for all concerned about the fate of this tormented country and its oppressed people.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789745240698
  • Publisher: Antique Collector's Club
  • Publication date: 4/16/2010
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Map of Burma xiv

Part 1

Introduction. A Brief Background into the British Entry into Burma 1

Chapter 1 The Old and The New 7

The Fall of the Peacock Throne 7

The Mood of a Defeated Nation 10

Dacoits or Freedom-fighters? 12

Pretenders and Princes 15

Border Unrest 16

Burma Calmed but Not Conquered 17

Chapter 2 Expectations, Education and Chauvinism 19

The Great Event of 1904/05 21

The Lesson Learned 21

The Awakening 22

News and Shoes 24

Pongyi Militant 26

Dyarchy 1923-1937 29

Chapter 3 Nationalism, Disciples and Rebellion 33

A Two-edged Sword 33

Bloody Rebellion 37

Chapter 4 'I Am Burmese' 44

'We are Burmese alone' 45

Dobama Asiayone-First Conference 49

The Strike 50

The Second Dobama Conference 1936 53

Chapter 5 Thakin Militant 55

Second Annual Conference-Tharrawaddy 57

The Fighting Peacock 58

Chapter 6 A Difficult Year 61

Strikes and Extreme Actions 61

Informers and Surveillance 62

The Third Annual Conference of Dobama Asiayone 62

The Nuisance Factor 63

Students and Strikes 63

Riotous Assemblies 64

Thakin Troubles 66

Chapter 7 Storm Clouds 68

A Curious Incident 70

'Curiouser and Curiouser' 72

Part 2

Chapter 8 A New Beginning 75

'Support the Empire' 77

'If you want to know who we are, we are gentlemen of Japan' 80

The Japanese Invasion and Occupation 82

Chapter 9 Independence at a Price 86

Japanese Promises 86

The Burmese Independence Army (BIA) 86

A Darker Side 87

The BIA Triumphant 88

Government in Exile 89

Another Beginning? 89

'Independence' and a new Constitution 90

New Education 91

And New Politics? 92

British Contacts and a Burmese Underground 93

What Comes After? 94

The British Dilemma and Aung San 95

Against Fascism 95

Traitors or Pragmatists? 96

The BNA Triumphant 96

An End and a New Beginning 97

Post-war Traumas 99

Throwing Down the Gauntlet 100

A New Governor and a General Strike 100

Preparing for a New Burma 101

Chapter 10 The Price of Independence 102

Serious Protests 102

The White and Red Menace 102

The Great Disaster 103

The Politician and the Buddhist 105

Different Political Philosophies 105

Independence at Last! 106

Troubled Years 108

And More Protests 109

National Unity and Change 110

U Nu and Buddhism 112

Chapter 11 A New Burma 114

Students and the Students' Union 114

A New Political Landscape 114

The Crucial Election 115

Democracy Dead: The 1962 Coup 116

The Power Game 117

Student Power 118

A Distinguished Burmese and More Protests 119

Pongyi Militant 122

Socialism the Burmese Way 122

The Sinking State 123

BSPP Policies and Strikes 126

And Yet More Protests 127

A New Constitution for a New Burma 128

Purges and' 129

'Peasants 131

The Beginning of the Eighties 132

Part 3

Chapter 12 'Give us Democracy and Give us Human Rights-Now!' 135

'The Butcher' 136

8.8.88-In the Beginning' 138

8.8.88-The Insurrection 138

Burmese Sisters 140

The New President 141

Factionalism Again' 142

Yesterday's Man 142

The 1988 Coup 143

'The Conqueror of Kings-a Student Hero 144

The Case of Ko Aung 145

A Bright New Star 145

The Damaged Society 146

Chapter 13 Order and Chaos 148

The All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) and The Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB) 148

SLORC and the West 150

A General Election 152

The National League for Democracy (NLD) 153

The Lady 154

The Lady of Mae Sot 156

Education and the Rule of Law Suborned 157

Chapter 14 Forced Labour, Human Rights and Student Soldiers 159

More than Corvee labour 159

More Human Rights Abuses' 162

Flight into Safety 162

A Dark Side' 164

Sleeping Dog Mountain 165

ABSDF Villages-Pho Paw Hta 165

Dawn Gwyn-The place of the Peacock 167

The Training School 167

The Rehabilitation Centre 168

The Burma Democratic Students (BDS) 169

More Moves 169

The ABSDF 'at home' 170

Activists in Exile 170

Chapter 15 SLORC Recalcitrant 172

A Critical Setback 172

The UNHCR and the Thai Government 174

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma-A Government in Exile 175

And Once Again-Human Rights 177

'The Lady' Re-emerges 179

The Lady Speaks Out Again 180

Devastation or Dialogue? 181

Map of Burma's Eastern Borderlands 182

Chapter 16 Continuing Protests 183

The ABSDF Reunited 183

More Harassment' 184

If anyone asks who I am, just tell them 'I am a child of Burma' 185

We are not political-don't shoot 186

Continuing Persecution 190

The Continuing Voice of Protest 191

A Bleak Year 191

Chapter 17 The Never-ending Charade 193

Laughter and Tears 193

'The Lady' Plays Cat and Mouse 195

The Case of The Vanishing Prisoners 196

Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes' 197

The Economy and Development 197

Epilogue 198

Dictatorship and the Students 201

The Woman of Destiny? 203

And What of the Future? 205

A Coup Manqué 207

The End of an Era 207

And The Lady? 207

How are the Mighty Fallen! 208

Long Live the King 209

Refugees 210

The Giants 210

Endnotes 212

Appendix I Case Studies 241

Appendix II Glossary 250

Bibliography 251

Index 258

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