Title: Burma: Curse of Independence
Author: Shelby Tucker
Publisher: Pluto Press
Publication Date: 2001-09-20
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0745315461
Number Of Pages: 304
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 Burmese “Herrenvolk” pretensions, the cou try’s unresolved ethnic divisions, Japanese conquest exacerbating these divisions, political rivalry among Burmese nationalists prevented 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 Burmese 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.
Shelby Tucker’s epic jungle trek with Burmese rebels described in his book,” Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma”, convinced him that Burma’s troubles, though complex, are not intractable
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