Factors Leading To The Rebellion In Burma And The Phillippines

1739 words - 7 pages

Post-independence rebellions refers to insurgencies, by groups who either challenge the ruling power or other groups, out of political and social reasons, that occurs after a state has achieved recognized independence from a colonial power. In this essay, I will discuss the similarities and differences in the varying factors that led to the outbreak of rebellion in Burma and the Philippines. Independence of Burma from Britain was achieved on January 4, 1948, and within three months, Burma suffered from insurgencies from the Burma Communist Party (BCP) followed by the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL) and other ethnic minority groups. Philippines was first colonized by the Spanish in the early 16th century, and then by the Americans in the 19th century. True independence was achieved in July 4, 1946, from the United States of America (U.S), following shortly an insurgency by the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) or Hukbalahap (Huk) led by the Philippines Communist Party (PKP).

1. Impact and influence of colonialism
The first factor to the post-independence rebellions in Burma and Philippines was the impact of the colonial powers. These colonial powers fostered national disunity, which posed post-independence commitment problem in the newly independent nation. During their colonial rule, the British worsened the strain in the relationship between ethnic minorities and ethnic Burmans. They favored the minorities and mistrusted the ethnic Burmans. Minorities such as the Karens were Christianized, received exclusive western education, and were offered elite positions in the colonial system. The Karens, who saw Burmans as enemies, relied on the British as a means of gaining protection from the majority Burmans and opportunities previously denied to them. During the Japanese invasion, many minorities remained loyal to the British while the Burmans collaborated with the Japanese. A May 1945 British White Paper articulated the intended continued separation of the minorities from the Burmans, despite the objection of Burman-led nationalist movement, AFPFL, who demanded the unification and independence of a one Burma. In a 1947 agreement for independence led by Aung san, British gave special treatment to ethnic minorities, the Karennis and Shans with a right to secede (after ten years). The Karens, who thought their loyalty to the British would grant them with their own state, were unhappy and suspicious of the new government that was made up of Burmans. The minorities, after having been under the British’s protection, now worried about their rights against the majority Burmans that would follow independence when the British power cease. Here, we see how a colonial's indifference to uniting a disintegrated nation, and their influences on ethnic minorities eventually lead to the uprising of minority rebellions after independence. Though animosity between ethnic minorities and Burmans existed before the British rule, but the British's...

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