There was once democracy in the Union of Burma

Long, long time ago, there was democracy in the Union of Burma, even though it was quite short-lived, under the democratically elected Prime Minister Thakin Nu or U Nu. Democracy seems a distant utopia now but it was really present during U Nu’s days. Younger generations of nowadays may not know any other system of government except the present Military Régime. Even adults younger than 45 years of age would have been born after Gen. Ne Win’s coup and would never have had any taste of democracy at all. Only those above 60 years of age can still recall the sweet taste of democracy under U Nu.

Background History

U Nu born in Born in the Irrawaddy Delta town of Wakema on 25 May 1907 (and passed away in 14 February 1995) was the first Prime Minister of Union of Burma according to the 1047 Constitution from 4 January 1948 to 12 June 1956, again from 28 February 1957 to 28 October 1958 and finally from 4 April 1960 to 2 March 1962. He had to deal with armed rebellion from various groups, especially the communist factions including certain regiments in the Army.

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On the Occasion of 7th July Anniversary

By Ye Wai

It is now the 46th Anniversary of the occasion of 7th July when Gen.Ne Win ordered his brutal troops to shoot and kill over one hundred Rangoon University students, who were asking for their student rights. Among those who were killed included male and female students of young ages, who were still full of vigour, optimism, hopes and aspirations to start careers in the future. In the Burmese History, this is the first time it ever happened, where a ruling regime committed the brutal killing of its own citizens.

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Once upon a time there was a Democractically elected PM in Burma

The House on Stilts(TIME)

Monday, Aug. 30, 1954

In Burma, men wear skirts. They wrap the skirts, which are called longyis, around the hips and gather them at the waist in one simple, unknotted hitch. The longyi has its advantages: one can bathe in it without undressing (by wrapping a dry longyi over the wet one and dropping the wet one in the bath), which is convenient since in Burma the poor usually bathe at public wells or faucets; one can also unhitch the longyi in Burma’s uncomfortable humidity, spreading the cloth with an easy, billowing motion, letting in a refreshing draft of air without exposure. Longyis, like much else in Burma, may seem strange to Western eyes, but they are peculiarly suited to Burma.

Then there are the shirts, which in Burma are attachable-collar shirts—but without the collar. Men of station wear the collarband buttoned at the neck; lesser figures, especially in government offices, wear it open. The air of collarless informality is misleading; the Burmese are meticulous. It is considered improper for a Westerner to visit a Burmese in shorts or a tropical shirt; the Burmese, colonial subjects of Britain until 1948, are sensitive about Westerners who appear to take them for granted. Yet the proper Burmese are remarkably free with their language: Burmese women will astonish Westerners with vivid, physical references to males they do not like; Prime Minister U Nu, a Buddhist layman of unusual piety, will casually refer to Communists as “Kwe-Ma-Tha,” meaning “dog-bitch-sons.”

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