chapter  16
Historicism, Historical Memory and Power
Pages 7

To settle the debts of history, all-out efforts are being made for all round national development’, said the leader of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), General Than Shwe, at a meeting of the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) in April 1997. ‘Settling the debts of history’ is indeed an essential element in the worldview of the SLORC and the army. Editing the past in the present is an important instrument in most political struggles, particularly when nationalism is heading the political agenda. Historical memory as social recollection serves to create models of the past by meticulously recalling collective experiences as if they were of direct consequence to the present situation.