Leaving Burma Behind

Burma became independent in 1948. Ben Morris asks if Britain could have done more for this unhappy country.

4 January 1948
Independence Day: the British governor, Hubert Elvin Rance and Burma’s first president, Sao Shwe Thaik, photographed as the new nation's flag is raised on 4 January 1948. Wiki Commons.

Burma (Myanmar) is a country on its knees. Its people, among the poorest in the world, live out an Orwellian nightmare. Child soldiers march as slave workers dig. The SPDC regime is politically isolated and obsessively insular, its paranoid and corrupt military leadership dependent on clique for office, intent on maintaining internal control of a country torn apart by ethnic conflict. Only Chinese patronage allows the junta to stagger brutally on.

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