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Burma: The Curse of Independence

by Shelby Tucker - £24.99  Pluto Press (2001)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780745315416 | ISBN 10: 0745315410

The Burmese Civil War began 12 weeks after Britain granted Burma independence in 1948 and has continued ever since. This book defines its core causes for readers who are new to the subject or baffled by its complexities.
 
It shows how Burman "Herrenvolk" pretensions and unresolved ethnic divisions, Japanese conquest exacerbating these divisions, political rivalry among Burman nationalists preventing an orderly transfer of power, Aung San's assassination, the drugs trade, and the personal greed of Burma's military rulers have transformed the well-disciplined army of a wealthy colony into a ruthless instrument of an impoverished autocracy.
 
Tucker draws on his experience as a trial lawyer to argue that Ne Win, and not the Burma politician hanged for the crime, murdered Aung San, and that the junta is the leading player in the country's flourishing drugs trade. Media emphasis on the junta's record of human rights abuse, he suggests, tends to obscure a strategic interest in ending the trade shared by all major powers. He surveys various scholars' assessments of the prospect of the peaceful devolution of power to civilian rule and concludes by proposing measures for assisting change in Burma.

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

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In booklists: Burma,
In categories: World - Asia,

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