Burma Government TypeBurmese Government Type
Burma's Socialist democracies
Burma's new state, the Union of Burma, which was created in early 1948, is said to be built on two main ideas - welfareism and inequality. It provides for all civil liberties and a system of parliamentarian governance largely modelled on the UK, with an electoral legislation and the division of legislation, law enforcement and judiciary.
With the sale of a Ministry of Democratization, whose job it is to set up and run a system of municipal administration in which all those who reign from the rural levels are chosen, the federal administration has taken a further important role in expanding it. The system is still experiential and centralised power, i.e. by officials appointed by the authorities, is continued alongside Parliament' s practices for most of the state.
Undoubtedly, the development of real democracies has been hindered by the time of disunity that reigned uninterruptedly from the very first tones of our origin. As the uprising reached its climax, the Rangoon government was not able to find men or weapons to be sent to a hundred endangered cities and communities, and was compelled to find its boyfriends wherever it could.
However, because they were ready to combat the rebels, the government armoured and aided them. During these chaotic times, the land quickly returned to a more basic type of politics than it did to democratic power - the reign of the strong man. Baldly the oppressors began to be hated by the masses, and when their benefits were over, even the government was shy.
However, there was still the gap of strength that could not be created in a democratic way by an enlightened constituency that felt it was ruling itself. The AFPFL, the Burmese government that has dominated Burma since the country's liberation and which, as the name of the Anti-Fascist Freedom League suggests, was initially a grass-roots front that gathered all the nuances of nationalism against the Japanese and then the British, is now filling this gap in nationalism.
AFPFL has a far-reaching impact in almost every town in the state. There is no other politic organisation that approaches even the slightest bit this giant, which is like a network over the whole continent and holds its own through sponsorship and sometimes even, in the final analysis, in the face of intrusion.
AFPFL cannot be regarded as a policy entity like those in Britain or the United States. This is the car of the country's economy, culture and politics. Allotments, crops credits, Pyidawtha ("Happy Land") Happy lands developement schemes, social services, buying the crops - everything is monitored by AFPFL supporters.
So our policy-making, which one of these days we want to make fully democratically, is in fact still a trade-off between one-party government, powerful weapons and a fully recorded system of judiciary, electoral legislatures and personal liberty. It must also be acknowledged, however, that the AFPFL leadership has a "messiah" system with which they can use the pretext that they must stay in government for the good of the state.
Men like Prime Minister U Nu and Deputy Prime Ministers U Ba Swe, U Kyaw Nyein and Thakin Tin are also deeply attached to the concept of grassroots organisations. The current system of our politics is more dependent on the agitators, the propagandists and the cellular organizers than on the more agile and free-thinking practices of modern democracy.
The AFPFL has established organisations such as the Union Congress of Burma (the trade union wing belonging to the party), the All-Burma Farmers' Organisation and the All-Burma Women's Freedom League. However, it cannot be disavowed that the ways of democratisation are being preserved and genuinely praised by the AFPFL leadership, which is active in promoting free expression, a powerful, free media, flawless judiciary and dynamic political parties.
When those rulers - and many of them are relatively young, having only recently graduated from university when they took up the lights for independency - are somewhat puzzled themselves about the kind of democracies they shape, how much more the nation for which both Marxist SS and Hellenic docra-mem.
Grown up on a story of powerful men fighting for control and a series of dictatorships, followed by the British centralised dominance, they are ready for the decisions democracies unavoidably offer the people. In order to see what these decisions are - for the Burmese - let us take a look at some of our recent histories.
For the Burmese, the deceased General Aung San, who successfully headed our independent struggle in 1947 and was murdered by a Burmese military opponent, will always be a heroes. Took one bullet without shooting. Burning insurgents can gain sovereignty for their own people. This is what often turns out to be their downfall after gaining your independency.
Only the fact that liberty came so readily was the reason for the dynamism that the communicationist movements acquired when the political parties resolved to go under. Communists used the tagline with great effect that the new sovereignty was only a deception - that the new rulers did not really want to establish a better societal order for all human beings - and that large sections of the populace were after them.
It was also thanks to the perseverance of the border population, whose crude gut feelings said that nothing good could come out of killing and crimes, that the government of the Union was able to bear the burden of the communist attack. AFPFL has since made great efforts to make people's autonomy a reality.
It is unpredictable to lose effectiveness, and Burma is now forced to deploy new and costly West engineers to fill posts that former incumbent leaders could have tackled at much lower costs. Over-hasty attempts to nationalise the country, forest, inland waterway and certain government agencies were made to refute the Communists' accusation that the Burmese victory in gaining democracy was a forgery.
To keep up with the Communists, as to keep up with the Joneses, turned out to be bothersome and just as costly, so the government chose to set a limit when it came to crude oils and ores. In spite of intensive resistance from the Communists, the coal and steel industries were reconstructed as "joint ventures", some of which are held by the former UK top managers and some by the state.
While the government had learnt the lessons that it costs nothing to fight it, doing things to scare it away could have serious repercussions. In case of any doubts, the AFPFL uses trial-and-error techniques. During an important address last June, U Nu felt compelled to make a radical reassessment of his government's policy.
Characteristically open ("I am mainly to blame for our urgent action"), he admitted that the AFPFL "made several mistakes". The other flaws were too ambitious plans without sufficient funds, skilled staff and raw material, and taking too much of the business community under the government's aegis.
To what extent U Nu can persuade his AFPFL counterparts of such old-fashioned business concepts will remain to be seen. The reason for this is that the politics of "active neutrality" has received the agreement of the global communist block and Burma has concluded exchange contracts not only with Russia and China, but also with Europe's satellites.
However, bartering, although approved by the Myanmar Communists, was not for their particular pleasure. The government was compelled to adopt a trading strategy, in part because of declining global commodity markets for raw materials, of which Burma has surpluses to sell, but also because the rebels made transportation and stockpiling more complicated, which it may still have to mourn.
There have been open-scale and similar frustrations about the cost and value of concrete delivered to Burma. Now the flood of fate is against the Communists and they are open and shamelessly complaining of it. However, China's stance at the Bandung Conference in 1954 and the welcoming of U Nu in Moscow later that year made it clear that Burma's proactive intervention was not part of the current global communicationist war.
A further difficulty for the annoyed AFPFL was the trial and the difficulties of housing and integration of the ethnic minorities in the land - the local people - described in a previous paper in this series. Among the British, the "border areas" had been managed separate from Burma itself, and there were genuine doubts whether these border tribes would demand liberty with the Burmese, or whether they would choose to stay with the British in another kind of unification.
Aung San's own call was the only way to persuade the Burmese to share their fate with the people. The Burmese had long since placed themselves on a higher plane than their more savage people. He pledged that their laws would be safeguarded and, despite the deferred distrust that had existed for generation after generation, he was trusted.
The" Union" was founded and all together separated from the British Commonwealth. Contrary to the other minority groups, the problem of the Karens was that they had no clearly delineated home, but instead had to live with the Burmese. At the beginning of 1949 the suspense broke out and ravaged the land, so that even today severe and traumatic injuries have not completely healed. 2.
Although most of the rulers of this particular insurgency are out of combat, a Karen state has been allowed, and only a few who are still fighting hard. Burma's west coast closest to India. Secluded from the remainder of the land by a high mountains, the Arakanese have for generation been developing and calling for their own culture and, although of Myanmar descent, active independence.
It is the government, which is afraid of splintering, decided not to do so. AFPFL, which hopes for a single state in the near term, has made great strides to expand its own kind of policy organisation and monitoring to include the areas of minorities. The Shun state is not making a smooth transition away from feudality towards a democracy.
A fortnight ago, the Savvwas, who responded to the predominant sentiment in the state and were cautioned by the central government that they were a goal of mass media advertising, accepted to give up their authority. There is another issue affecting the people at the border: the danger of subverting Red China, the neighbour who has tribal people who live in neighbouring areas similar to those on the Burmese side.
It is difficult to get credible information about China's activity, but it seems certain that Burmese people on the Burmese borders will be emboldened to engage in commerce and seeking all along the line for health and farming help. It is therefore important not to underestimate the importance of maintaining the people on the borders in intimate contact with Burma and ensuring that they receive an adequate proportion of awareness and benefit from the central government in the form of education, hospital and modernisation.
Aside from the Burmese Communists, both above and below the surface, the Burmese ordinary man has little to do with his country's global relationships. However, among the intellectuals there are two major groups: the Communists, who are loudly associated with Russia and China; and those who are calmer, yet quite firm, pro-Western in affection, taste and affection.
At the end of 1955, Red China sent forces across the border to a secluded area near Yunnan, populated by a savage clan name Was. Collisions with Burma's forces resulted in a string of discussions between the two states. But the Chinese astounded the people of Burma by calling into question the entire fifteen hundred miles long border.
You suggested a ³cpackage deal³d in which you would accept the old line and leave the Wa area if Burma relinquished another small stripe around Hpimah in Kachin State. Burmese were furious, but not for long. Soon they saw that it was profitable to buy the extortionist if he asked in exchange for the area that from now on he would remain silent about the remainder of the long and practically unacceptable border.
Myanmar agreed and also demanded a small area around Namwan, but at this time the Chinese still have to signature, sealing and delivery of the "package". "Most of the people of Burma, who are always upbeat, do not believe that Red China will infiltrate. The AFPFL leaders' particular role in determining Burma's fate?
While he enjoys travelling, he finds it necessary to keep an overview of all stages of the administration. One man who can be persuaded to both sympathy and rage has ripened with the Buddhist experiences and practices of which he is one of the most passionate supporter in Burma and devotes part of the daily to mediation and prayers.
Myanmar may be mulched, tipped and crushed, but some machinery arrives and is put into operation, some houses rise, and travel is bought or replaced as quickly as it is ground. However, the Thakin Tin division is Burma's future: how to get the ordinary farmer and laborer to make the efforts so necessary for surviving as a national.
Burmese have an old adage: "Contractual debt paid by the kings. "The government is charged with making enormous gains from the travel trade at the cost of cultivation. Burmese are able to make a lasting commitment, but only for a brief period of time. He has a passion for adventures, not less for shortcuts and changes, leaving him open to communist flattery.
Uprising people may have injured him in economic and physical terms, but past injustice is soon over ( "the Japanese have already been pardoned for war brutality") and are not the communists in Burma Burma? The greatest threats to Burma's mind and steadfastness can be seen in this position of deviation May Care. 3.
Communists do not lack courage, imagination and dedication to their cause. AFPFL is happy to announce: "Let them come and struggle against us in the election.