How Military Government of Burma Is A Reflection of British Colonial Government That Preceded It

Assignment Instructions

For many decades, Burma’s government has been widely considered one of the worst in the world, in terms of governance, human rights, etc. Unfortunately, many “post-colonial” nations (i.e., nations that were colonized in the past by Western nations but have now been granted independence) have been saddled with corrupt, inept, and tyrannical governments since gaining independence. A thread that weaves its way through Larkin’s text is the similarities between the ways in which the British colonial government ran Burma and the ways in which Burma’s military regime has operated. Because of these similarities, Aung San Suu Kyi has characterized the current period in Burmese history “the second struggle for independence” (the first struggle being, of course, against the British). Using at least five (5) specific examples from the Larkin text, discuss how the  military government of Burma has been a sort of ‘reflection’ of the British colonial government that preceded it, in terms of its practices, policies, attitudes, etc.


Sample Answer

Burma is a former colony of the British and it managed to gain its independence in the year 1948. Once the British left, a temporary government took over the leadership of that country. However, in the year 1962, the military conducted a coup d’état and managed to rake over the control of Burma. Ever since that time, the military has used force to rule over the citizens of Burma. The worst scenario is the case where the military decided that they were going to use and autarky form of economic policy to isolate the region from the rest. According to Finding George Orwell in Burma, it is explained how the dictatorship system subjected the citizens to a low income where survival was never easy. Moreover, the citizens were forced to support a large army that was the size of the U.S army yet the country had no capacity to do so.

In the year 1962 alone, the military government broke demonstrationsat the Rangoon University where fifteen students lost their lives. Apart from that, any protested that were staged by the citizens against the government were all shuttered using excessive force. For instance the demonstrations that were staged in 1975, 1976 as well as 1977 were suppressed by the, military using force. According to Larkin, the system in Burma used a stasi-style of monitoring the citizen’s plans through the secret service police as well as other secret citizen informers. Therefore incase the citizens planned demonstrations against the government, the information would get to the authorities in real time and such efforts would be thwarted.


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