Political developments since independence
DOI link for Political developments since independence
Political developments since independence book
The history of post-independence Burma (now Myanmar) is largely shaped by the legacies of the colonial rule. The British invaded Burma as many as three times before they fi nally defeated it in January 1886 (Donnison 1953, 28). Before the annexation, Burma proper was inhabited by ethnic Burman or Bama group and the frontier areas were inhabited by different ethnic nationalities. Burma proper and the frontier areas were administered separately. For example, the Burman or Bama were ruled by their king; the Shan were internally ruled by their own sawbwas (princes); and groups such as the Chin and Kachin were ruled by their own chiefs. The British conquest of the Burmese kingdom had also led to the annexation of the frontier areas (Ibid., 32). For a brief period during World War II, Burma was ruled by Japan. The Japanese army provided military training to thirty Burmese youths, who were called Burma Independence Army (BIA) led by its leader Aung San. Burma was placed under Japanese military rule till 1 August 1943, when the country was granted independence under Japanese protection. A year later on 27 March 1945, the BIA switched side to the British army and fought against its former ally Japan (National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma 2003, 8).