The Shan States were a collection of minor Shan kingdoms called mueang whose rulers bore the title saopha in British Burma. They were analogous to the princely states of British India; the term "Shan States" was first used during the British rule in Burma as a geopolitical designation for certain areas of Burma. In some cases, the Siamese Shan States was used to refer to Lan Na and Chinese Shan States to the Shan regions in southern Yunnan such as Xishuangbanna. Historical mention of the Shan states inside the present-day boundaries of Burma began during the period of the Pagan Dynasty; these were part of the larger Tai migration that founded the Ahom Kingdom in 1229 and the Sukhothai Kingdom in 1253. Shan political power increased after the Mongols overran Pagan in 1287 and the Shans came to dominate many of the northern to eastern areas of Burma—from northwestern Sagaing Division to the present-day Shan Hills; the newly founded Shan States were multi-ethnic states that included a substantial number of other ethnic minorities such as the Chin, Lisu, Pa-O, Kachin, Wa, Burmans.
The Shan States were a dominant force in the politics of Upper Burma throughout the 13th to 16th centuries. The strongest Shan States, Mogaung and Hsenwi raided Upper Burma. Mogaung ended the kingdoms of Sagaing and Pinya in 1364; the Mohnyin-led Confederation of Shan States captured the Ava Kingdom in 1527 and ruled Upper Burma until 1555. The Shan States were too fragmented to resist the encroachment of bigger neighbours. In the north, China annexed today's Yunnan in the 1380s, stamping out the final Shan resistance by the 1440s. In the south, the Toungoo Dynasty captured all those Shan States that would become known as Burmese Shan States in 1557. Though the Shan States came under the suzerainty of Burmese kingdoms based in the valley of the Irrawaddy River, the Shan saophas retained a large degree of autonomy; when Burma gained independence in 1948, the Federated Shan States became Shan State and Kayah State of the Union of Burma with the right to secede from the Union. However, the Shan States and the saophas' hereditary rights were removed by Gen. Ne Win's military government in 1962.
Most Shan States were just little principalities organised around the chief town in the region. They played a precarious game of paying allegiance to more powerful states, sometimes simultaneously. Smaller states such as Loi-ai, Monghsat and Monghsu paid allegiance to more powerful Shan states like Yawnghwe and Hsenwi; the larger Shan States in turn paid tribute to larger neighbours such as the Ava, the Burmese Kingdom and China. Some of the major Shan States were. Early history of the Shan states is clouded in myth. Most states claimed having been founded upon a predecessor state with a Sanskrit name. Tai Yai chronicles begin with the story of two brothers, Khun Lung and Khun Lai, who descended from heaven in the 6th century and landed in Hsenwi, where the local population hailed them as kings; the Shan people have inhabited the Shan Highlands and other parts of northern modern-day Burma as far back as the 10th century AD. The Shan kingdom of Mong Mao existed as early as the 10th century CE but became a Burmese vassal state during the reign of King Anawrahta of Pagan.
The historical relevance of the Shan states inside the present-day boundaries of Burma increased during the period of the Pagan Kingdom in the Shan Hills and Kachin Hills and accelerated after the fall of the Pagan Kingdom to the Mongols in 1287. The Shans, including a new migration that came down with the Mongols came to dominate an area from northern Chin State and northwestern Sagaing Region to the present-day Shan Hills; the newly founded Shan States were multi-ethnic states that included a substantial number of other ethnic minorities like the Chin, Palaung, Pa-O, Akha, Lahu, Wa and Burmans. The most powerful Shan states were Mohnyin and Mogaung in present-day Kachin State, followed by Theinni, Thibaw and Kyaingtong in present-day northern Shan State; the Confederation of Shan States were a group of Shan States that conquered the Ava Kingdom in 1527 and ruled Upper Burma until 1555. The Confederation consisted of Mohnyin, Bhamo and Kale, it was led by the chief of Mohnyin. The Confederation raided Upper Burma throughout the early 16th century and fought a series of war against Ava and its ally Shan State of Thibaw.
The Confederation defeated Ava in 1527, placed Sawlon's eldest son Thohanbwa on the Ava throne. Thibaw and its tributaries Nyaungshwe and Mobye came over to the confederation; the enlarged Confederation extended its authority down to Prome in 1533 by defeating their erstwhile ally Prome Kingdom because Sawlon felt that Prome did not provide sufficient help in their war against Ava. After the Prome war, Sawlon was assassinated by his own ministers. Although Sawlon's son Thohanbwa tried to assume the leadership of the Confederation, he was never acknowledged as the first among equals by other saophas. An incoherent confederation neglected to intervene in the first four years of Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War in Lower Burma, they did not appreciate the gravity of the situation until 1539 when Toungoo defeated Hanthawaddy, turned against its vassal Prome. The saophas banded together and sent in a force to relieve Prome in 1539. However, the combined force was unsuccessful in holding Prome
Burma Independence Army
The Burma Independence Army was a collaborationist and revolutionary army that fought for the end of British rule in Burma by assisting the Japanese in their conquest of the country in 1942 during World War II. It was the first post-colonial army in Burmese history; the BIA was formed from group known as the Thirty Comrades under the auspices of the Imperial Japanese Army after training the Burmese nationalists in 1941. The BIA's attempts at establishing a government during the invasion led to it being dissolved by the Japanese and the smaller Burma Defence Army formed in its place; as Japan guided Burma towards nominal independence on their terms, the BDA was expanded into the Burma National Army of the State of Burma, a puppet state under Ba Maw, in 1943. After secret contact with the British during 1944, on 27 March 1945, the BNA revolted against the Japanese; the army received recognition as an ally from Supreme Allied Commander, Lord Mountbatten, who needed their assistance against retreating Japanese forces and to ease the strain between the army's leadership and the British.
As part of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League, the BNA was re-labelled the Patriotic Burmese Forces during a joint Allied–Burmese victory parade in Rangoon on 23 June 1945. Following the war, after tense negotiations, it was decided that the PBF would be integrated into a new Burma Army under British control, but many veterans would continue under old leadership in the paramilitary People's Volunteer Organisation in the unstable situation of post-war Burma. British rule in Burma began in 1824 after which the British tightened its grip on the country and implemented significant changes to Burmese government and economy compared to Burma under the Konbaung dynasty before; the British removed and exiled King Thibaw Min and separated government from the Buddhist Sangha, with large consequences in the dynamics of Burmese society and was devastating to Buddhist monks who were dependent on the sponsorship of the monarchy. British control increased over time, for example, in 1885 under the Colonial Village Act, all Burmese, except for Buddhist monks, had to Shikko to British officers.
These greetings would demonstrate Burmese respect to British rule. In addition, the act stated that villages would provide lodging and food upon the arrival of colonial military or civil officials. Lastly, against mounting rebellions, the British adopted a “strategic hamlet” strategy, whereby villages were burned and uprooted families who had supplied villages with Headmen, sending them to lower Burma and replacing them with British approved appointees. Future changes to Burma included the establishment of land titles, payment of taxes to the British, records of births and deaths and the introduction of census that included personal information, including information pertaining to jobs and religion; the census was hard on Burmese identity due to the variation of names and the habit of villagers to move between various families. These traditions were different from Western culture and not compatible with the British imposed census. British insistence upon western medicine and inoculation was distasteful to native residents of Burma.
These changes led to a greater distrust of the British and in turn harsher mandates as they became aware of Burmese resistance. A major issue in the early 1900's was land alienation by Indian Chettiar moneylenders who were taking advantage of the economic situation in the villages. At the same time, thousands of Indian labourers migrated to Burma and, because of their willingness to work for less money displaced Burmese farmers, who instead began to take part in crime. All this, combined with Burma's exclusion from British proposals for limited self-government in Indian provinces, led to one of the earliest political nationalist groups, the General Council of Burmese Associations, who had split of from the apolitical Young Men's Buddhist Association. Foreign good were boycotted and the association set up village courts and rejected the British courts of law claiming that a fair trial had a better chance under the control of Burmese people. Student protests, backed by the Buddhist clergy led to "National schools" being created in protest against the colonial education system.
As a result the British to imposed an increase of the police force. The first major organized armed rebellion occurred between 1930 and 1932 and was called The Hsaya Rebellion; the former monk Hsaya San sparked a rebellion by mobilizing peasants in rural Burma after protests against taxes and British disrespect towards Buddhism. The Burmese colonial army under British rule included only minorities such as the Karen and Kachin and isolated the majority Bamar population; as more people joined the rebellion it evolved into a nationwide revolt which only ended after Hsaya San was captured after 2 years of insurrection. He and many other rebel leaders were imprisoned after the rebellion was put down; the Hsaya rebellion sparked a large emergence of organized anti-colonial politics in Burma during the 1930's. Aung San was a nationalist student activist working for the cause of an independent Burma. While at university, he became an influential political leader and created a new platform for educated nationalistic students who were intent upon a Burmese Independent state.
In 1938 he joined the anti-colonial Dohbama Asiayone party. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the Thakins, combined with the Poor Man's Party to create the Freedom Bloc, which opposed cooperation with the British war effort unless Burma was guaranteed independence immed
The Kingdom of Pagan was the first kingdom to unify the regions that would constitute modern-day Burma. Pagan's 250-year rule over the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma, the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Burma and in mainland Southeast Asia; the kingdom grew out of a small 9th-century settlement at Pagan by the Mranma, who had entered the Irrawaddy valley from the Kingdom of Nanzhao. Over the next two hundred years, the small principality grew to absorb its surrounding regions until the 1050s and 1060s when King Anawrahta founded the Pagan Empire, for the first time unifying under one polity the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. By the late 12th century Anawrahta's successors had extended their influence farther to the south into the upper Malay peninsula, to the east at least to the Salween river, in the farther north to below the current China border, to the west, in northern Arakan and the Chin Hills.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, alongside the Khmer Empire, was one of two main empires in mainland Southeast Asia. The Burmese language and culture became dominant in the upper Irrawaddy valley, eclipsing the Pyu and Pali norms by the late 12th century. Theravada Buddhism began to spread to the village level although Tantric, Mahayana and animist practices remained entrenched at all social strata. Pagan's rulers built over 10,000 Buddhist temples in the Pagan capital zone of which over 2000 remain; the wealthy donated tax-free land to religious authorities. The kingdom went into decline in the mid-13th century as the continuous growth of tax-free religious wealth by the 1280s had affected the crown's ability to retain the loyalty of courtiers and military servicemen; this ushered in a vicious circle of internal disorders and external challenges by the Arakanese, Mons and Shans. Repeated Mongol invasions toppled the four-century-old kingdom in 1287; the collapse was followed by 250 years of political fragmentation that lasted well into the 16th century.
The origins of the Pagan kingdom have been reconstructed using archaeological evidence as well as the Burmese chronicle tradition. Considerable differences exist between the views of modern scholarship and various chronicle narratives. Burmese chronicles do not agree on the origins of the Pagan kingdom. Chronicles down to the 18th century trace its origins to 167 CE, when Pyusawhti, a descendant of a solar spirit and a dragon princess, founded the dynasty at Pagan, but the 19th-century Glass Palace Chronicle connects the dynasty's origins to the clan of the Buddha and the first Buddhist king Maha Sammata. The Glass Palace Chronicle traces the origins of the Pagan kingdom to India during the 9th century BCE, more than three centuries before the Buddha was born. Prince Abhiraja of Kosala of the Sakya clan – the clan of the Buddha – left his homeland with followers in 850 BCE after military defeat by the neighbouring kingdom of Panchala, they founded a kingdom. The Chronicle does not claim. Abhiraja had two sons.
The elder son Kanyaza Gyi ventured south, in 825 BCE founded his own kingdom in what is today Arakan. The younger son Kanyaza Nge succeeded his father, was followed by a dynasty of 31 kings, another dynasty of 17 kings; some three and a half centuries in 483 BCE, scions of Tagaung founded yet another kingdom much farther down the Irrawaddy at Sri Ksetra, near modern Pyay. Sri Ksetra lasted nearly six centuries, was succeeded in turn by the kingdom of Pagan; the Glass Palace Chronicle goes on to relate that around 107 CE, nephew of the last king of Sri Ksetra, founded the city of Pagan. The site was visited by the Buddha himself during his lifetime, it was where he pronounced that a great kingdom would arise at this location 651 years after his death. Thamoddarit was followed by a caretaker, Pyusawhti in 167 CE; the chronicle narratives merge, agree that a dynasty of kings followed Pyusawhti. King Pyinbya fortified the city in 849 CE. Modern scholarship holds that the Pagan dynasty was founded by the Mranma of the Nanzhao Kingdom in the mid-to-late 9th century CE.
Indeed, European scholars of the British colonial period were more skeptical, dismissing outright the chronicle tradition of early Burmese history as "copies of Indian legends taken from Sanskrit or Pali originals", the Abhiraja story as a vain attempt by Burmese chroniclers to link their kings to the Buddha. They doubted the antiquity of the chronicle tradition, dismissed the possibility that any sort of civilisation in Burma could be much older than 500 CE; the Abhiraja myth notwithstanding, more recent research does indicate that many of the places mentioned in the royal records have indeed been inhabited continuously for at least 3500 years. The earliest evidence of civilisation thus far dates to 11,000 BCE. Archaeological evidence shows that as early as the 2nd century BCE the Pyu had built water-management systems al
The Pinya Kingdom was the kingdom that ruled Central Myanmar from 1313 to 1365. It was the successor state of Myinsaing, the polity that controlled much of Upper Burma between 1297 and 1313. Founded as the de jure successor state of the Pagan Empire by Thihathu, Pinya faced internal divisions from the start; the northern province of Sagaing led by Thihathu's eldest son Saw Yun fought for autonomy in 1315−17, formally seceded in 1325 after Thihathu's death. The rump Pinya Kingdom was left embroiled in an intense rivalry between Thihathu's other sons Uzana I and Kyawswa I until 1344. Pinya had little control over its vassals. Central authority returned during Kyawswa I's reign but broke down right after his death. In the 1350s, Kyawswa II repaired Pinya's long-strained relationship with Sagaing, in order to face off against the northern Shan state of Maw. Two Maw raids in 1358–59 and 1362–63 devastated Pinya's countryside during which Toungoo broke away. Narathu switched sides and aided the Maw attack on Sagaing in 1363–64.
But after the Maw troops sacked both Sagaing and Pinya in succession in 1364, Thihathu's great grandson Thado Minbya of Sagaing seized both devastated capitals in 1364, founded the Ava Kingdom in 1365. Pinya was a microcosm of the small kingdoms period of Burmese history. Weakened by internal divisions, Pinya despite controlling two of the three main granaries never reached its potential. Although its successor Ava would prove more successful in reassembling major parts of the erstwhile empire, it too would be hampered by fierce regional rivalries, Myanmar would remain divided into the mid-16th century. Pinya was the successor state of Myinsaing, the polity that succeeded the Pagan Empire in Upper Burma. After the Mongol invasions, the Mongols seized northern Burma to Tagaung, the rest of the empire broke up into several petty states. Pagan was left holding only a small region around the capital. In 1297, the three former Pagan commanders— Athinkhaya and Thihathu—overthrew King Kyawswa of Pagan, who had become a Mongol vassal nine months earlier.
The brothers placed a puppet king, ruled from their base in Kyaukse. The Mongols could not break through, they withdrew altogether from northern Burma in 1303. The brothers went on to reassemble the core regions of the fallen empire. In the north, they regained up to Tagaung but no further. Various Shan states, nominal Mongol vassals, now dominated the entire northwestern-to-southeastern arc surrounding the Irrawaddy valley. In the south, the brothers established suzerainty down to Prome, Toungoo, they did not try to Arakan in the west. The regency of the triumvirate was short-lived. Thihathu, the youngest and most ambitious brother, was never satisfied with a mere regent status, declared himself king in 1309; the proclamation ended the charade of Saw Hnit's nominal status as king. The old power structure at Pagan led by the dowager queen Pwa Saw was not happy but there was little she or Saw Hnit could do, it is not clear. At any rate, the elder brothers died in 1310 and 1312/13, Thihathu became the undisputed ruler.
To commemorate his reign, Thihathu founded a new capital at Pinya in the Kyaukse valley but closer to the Irrawaddy. He decided to keep his capital in the premier granary instead of returning to Pagan because Pinya was closer to the Mu valley granary in the north. On 7 February 1313, Thihathu, of non-royal birth, was crowned king as the rightful heir of the Pagan kings by Queen Pwa Saw herself. For the first time since the 1280s, the entire Irrawaddy valley between Prome in the south and Tagaung in the north was under a single ruler. However, Pinya's authority over the frontier regions such as Prome and Toungoo was nominal; the Myinsaing-Pinya rulers had inherited the longstanding problem that had existed since the late Pagan period: between one and two-thirds of Upper Burma's cultivated land had been donated to religion, the crown had lost resources needed to retain the loyalty of courtiers and military servicemen. Furthermore, "markedly drier weather during the late 13th and much of the 14th centuries" in Upper Burma forced large migrations from the established granaries "to better watered districts farther south".
To compound the problem, Pinya was hit with a dynastic feud from the start. So eager was Thihathu to be seen as a legitimate king of Pagan, he made his adopted stepson Uzana, biological son of King Kyawswa of Pagan and Queen Mi Saw U, his heir-apparent, he appointed Kyawswa I, his biological son by Mi Saw U, governor of Pinle, the second most coveted position. On the other hand, the king did not appoint Saw Yun, his eldest biological son by a commoner queen, Yadanabon, or Tarabya his stepson by Yadanabon, to any meaningful positions, he appointed Saw Yun governor of Sagaing in 1314 only after the eldest son's repeated protestations. Saw Yun remained unhappy for he still did not command an army as did Uzana and Kyawswa; the simmering resentment led to Saw Yun's insurrection. The young prince upgraded Sagaing's timber walls to brick without his father's permission in 1315–16. Thihathu seemed conflicted about punishing his teenage son; the king, who had never liked to share power — with his own brothers — never sent a full force to reclaim Sagaing.
He did order two small expeditions, the first led by Crown Prince Uzana and the second led by Prince Kyawswa. But by the end of 1316–17 dry season, both expeditions had faile
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist systems are divided into market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist politics has been both nationalist in orientation. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies and natural resources; the socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.
By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide, it is a political ideology, a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
State of Burma
The State of Burma was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan, created in 1943 during the Japanese occupation of Burma in World War II. During the early stages of World War II, the Empire of Japan invaded British Burma to obtain raw materials, to close off the Burma Road, a primary link for aid and munitions to the Chinese Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek, fighting the Japanese for several years in the Second Sino-Japanese War; the Japanese Fifteenth Army under Lieutenant General Shojiro Iida overran Burma from January – May 1942. The Japanese had assisted the formation of the Burma Independence Army, which aided the Japanese during their invasion; the BIA formed a provisional government in some areas of the country in the spring of 1942, but there were differences within the Japanese leadership over the future of Burma. While Colonel Suzuki encouraged the BIA to form a provisional government, the Japanese military leadership had never formally accepted such a plan and the Japanese government held out only vague promises of independence after the end of the war.
However, a Burmese Executive Administration was established in Rangoon on 1 August 1942 with the aim of creating a civil administration to manage day-to-day administrative activities subordinate to the Japanese military administration. The head of the provisional administration was Dr. Ba Maw, a noted lawyer and political prisoner under the British; as the war situation turned against the Japanese, the Japanese government decided that Burma and the Philippines would become independent as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, contrary to the original plan that independence only be granted after the completion of the war. Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō promised that independence for Burma would be granted within a year from 28 January 1943, with the condition that Burma declare war on the United Kingdom and the United States; the Japanese government felt that this would give the Burmese a real stake in an Axis victory in the Second World War, creating resistance against possible re-colonization by the western powers, increased military and economic support from Burma for the Japanese war effort.
A Burma Independence Preparatory Committee chaired by Ba Maw was formed 8 May 1943 with a wide variety of respected members. On 1 August 1943, Burma was proclaimed the independent State of Burma and the Japanese military government for Burma was dissolved; the new state declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States and concluded a Treaty of Alliance with Japan. Ba Maw became "Naingandaw Adipadi" of Burma with wide powers; the first cabinet of the State of Burma consisted of: Ba Maw, Prime Minister Thakin Mya, Deputy Prime Minister Ba Win, Minister of Home Affairs Thakin Nu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Thein Maung, Minister of Finance General Aung San, Minister of Defence Thein Maung, Minister of Justice Hla Min, Minister of Education and Health Thakin Than Tun, Minister of Agriculture U Mya, Minister of Commerce and Industry Thakin Lay Maung, Minister of Communications and Irrigation Bandula U Sein, Minister of Welfare and Publicity Tun Aung, Minister of Co-Operation with Japan Thakin Lun Baw, Public Works Recovery MinisterOn 25 September 1943, as promised, Japan ceded all of the Shan states to Burma except for the part east of the Salween River i.e. Kengtung and Mongpan, given to Thailand.
Ba Maw attended the Greater East Asia Conference in Tokyo from 5–6 November 1943. Though now nominally independent, the power of the State of Burma to exercise its sovereignty was circumscribed by wartime agreements with Japan; the Imperial Japanese Army maintained a large presence and continued to act arbitrarily, despite Japan no longer having official control over Burma. During 1943 and 1944, the Burma National Army made contacts with other political groups inside Burma, including the Communist Party of Burma, operating underground. A popular front organization called the Anti-Fascist Organisation was formed with Thakin Soe as the leader. Through the communists and the Japanese-sponsored Arakan Defence Army, the Burmese were able to make contact with the British Force 136 in India; the initial contacts were always indirect. Force 136 was able to make contacts with members of the BNA's Karen unit in Rangoon. In December 1944, the AFO contacted the Allies, indicating their readiness to defect to the Allied cause by launching a national uprising which would include the forces of BNA.
However, this was opposed by the British, who considering the timing to be unfavorable, who had considerable reservations about supporting the BNA. The first BNA-led uprising against the Japanese occurred early in 1945 in central Burma. On 27 March 1945, the remainder of the BNA paraded in Rangoon and marched out ostensibly to assist the Japanese army in the battles raging in Central Burma against invading Allied forces. Instead, the BNA declared war on the Japanese. Aung San and others subsequently began negotiations with Lord Mountbatten and joined the Allies as the Patriotic Burmese Forces. Without the support of the BNA, the government of the State of Burma collapsed, Ba Maw fled via Thailand to Japan, where he was captured that year and was held in Sugamo Prison, until 1946. Japanese occupation of Burma Saharat Thai Doem Allen, Louis. Burma: the Longest War 1941-45. J. M. Dent and Sons. ISBN 0-46
2011–2015 Myanmar political reforms
The 2011–2015 Myanmar political reforms were a series of political and administrative reforms in Myanmar undertaken by the military-backed government. These reforms include the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and subsequent dialogues with her, establishment of the National Human Rights Commission, general amnesties of more than 200 political prisoners, institution of new labour laws that allow labour unions and strikes, relaxation of press censorship, regulations of currency practices; as a consequence of the reforms, ASEAN has approved Myanmar's bid for the chairmanship in 2014. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar on 1 December 2011, to encourage further progress. United States President Barack Obama visited one year becoming the first US president to visit the country. Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, participated in by-elections held on 1 April 2012 after the government abolished laws that led to the NLD's boycott of the 2010 general election.
She led the NLD in winning the by-elections in a landslide, winning 41 out of 44 of the contested seats, with Aung San Suu Kyi herself winning a seat representing Kawhmu Constituency in the lower house of the Myanmar Parliament. However, uncertainties exist as some other political prisoners have not been released and clashes between Myanmar troops and local insurgent groups continue. Burma was under military rule from 1962 to 2010. In 2008, the ruling Junta, State Peace and Development Council, announced the new constitution as a part of roadmap to democracy; the constitution, which reserves 25% of the Hluttaw legislature's seats for military, is seen by the opposition as a tool for continuing military control of the country. A constitution referendum was held in 2008 amid Cyclone Nargis. Observers criticised the referendum for electoral fraud and advance voting. On 15 May 2008, the junta announced that the constitution had been approved by 92.4% of voters, claiming a 99% turnout in the two-thirds of the region that had held the vote.
An election was held in 2010. The military backed Union Development Party declared victory; the United Nations and Western countries expressed concerns about the conduct of the elections. The government has embarked reforms toward liberal democracy, mixed economy, reconciliation, although the motives of such reforms are still debated. In March 2012, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw passed a law that will increase the wages of all public sector employees, including soldiers, an additional cost-of-living allowance of 30,000 kyat, along with a daily wage increase of 1,100 to 2,100 kyat for full-time employees, purportedly to tackle corruption in the government; the law will be effective 1 April 2012, when the Burmese by-elections, 2012 take place. On 12 March 2012, The Voice, a weekly news journal published an article that highlighted 6 ministries: the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of Industry 1 and Ministry of Industry 2, as misusing funds and misstating finances, based on internal parliamentary audit reports.
Two days the Ministry of Mines announced that it would file a lawsuit against the journal. The pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010. After her release, she held a series of dialogues with Minister Aung Kyi. Although the discussions were not publicised, the state media reported that "the two sides have agreed to set aside the differences and work together in matters of common interests that will benefit the country and the people" Aung San Suu Kyi's ability to travel throughout the country is seen as an improvement compared to her trips in 2003 which met with a government sponsored massacre. Aung San Suu Kyi's party, National League for Democracy boycotted the 2010 election; the election law enacted by the SPDC did not allow ex-prisoners to become members of registered political parties. If NLD decided to register, it would have to expel its members, but in November, the government erased the clause in a parliamentary section. After the amendments, NLD leaders have unanimously decided to register for the by-election.
The government has relaxed press and internet censorship laws, for example allowing photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi to be published on the front page of local newspapers. Tint Swe, the head of the country's censorship authority, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, said that censorship is incompatible with democratic practices and should be abolished. A presidential adviser has indicated that press censorship will be abolished in 2012 under new media legislation. In September 2011, several banned websites including YouTube, Democratic Voice of Burma and Voice of America have been unblocked. In January 2012, the Ministry of Information announced that it had forwarded a draft of a new media and press law to the Attorney General's Office for review; the draft law, which will need to be approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, borrows some language from similar laws in Cambodia and Vietnam. The draft law, adapted from the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Law, will not be submitted during the second parliamentary session.
In March 2012, Minister of Information, Kyaw Hsan, said that the country was undergoing a 3-step process in reforming the media regulation: relaxation of regulations to allow individual publications to exercise self-censorship and accountability, promulgation of a new print media law, regulation of print media through the new print media law. On a similar note, Yi Htut, the Information