From Democracy To Isolationism History Essay

The independent Myanmar ( called the Union of Burma ) adopted a parliamentary democratic fundamental law modelled on that of Britain with some federalist characteristics as the system of pick to get down a new epoch as independent state with integrity and prosperity as the immediate undertakings to carry through. The demand to supply an accommodating system in those yearss where demands and involvements of several politicised cultural minority and tribal groups who became portion of the Union could be acknowledged was one of the chief concerns of the power transportation dialogue procedure and it was reflected in the construction of the fundamental law. Furthermore, it was the system which post-independent political elites- those immature Thakin leaders of the independency motion knew best. Ideologically, the new Myanmese political leading blended the broad democratic values inherited from the British with socialistic ends in a chauvinistic and Buddhist syncretism of the Thakin political idea.

Immediately after independency, the new state, faced with the undertaking of nation-building and conveying about a peaceful, harmonious and flush society, was enfeebled by personal and institutional defects, rebellious minority and economic impairment ; but the state was moved by uncompromising patriotism and sub-nationalism, deficiency of designation with province by people and predomination of security consideration in national policy which were, in retrospect, shaped by colonial bequest. These familial bequests of colonial connexion constituted hindrances to smooth operation of parliamentary democracy. However, the most important development was the growing of Tatmadaw as the de facto supreme power during the disruptive decennary of parliamentary democracy. The Tatmadaw was one of the most politicised ground forces in the universe and ne’er regarded itself as an unpolitical force. The inability of the democratic authorities under U Nu to regulate efficaciously, hush the challenges to national integrity and stableness, and on the other manus, the proven “ effectivity and efficiency ” of the armed forces in runs against assorted insurgences and during the caretaker function, the military developed belief in their guardian function and position of ‘saviour ‘ of the state, and most of import, they felt they needed to play a function in the state ‘s political personal businesss. Subsequently, military emerged as the dominant political histrion prosecuting the same ideal of the new state, but as Mehden writes, with a “ hard-boiled tone and place, a heightened patriotism, Puritanism, and accent on socialism and integrity ( Mehden 1963:171 ) . ” The parliamentary democracy dramatically collapsed early in 1962 and political development and government passage took on a to a great extent isolationist dramatis personae from that point of clip.

This chapter analyse post-colonial Myanmar with a position to determine the ground for the reaching of an isolationist political system under military regulation in 1962 and the constituent and structural form of such government. This chapter is divided into two surveies. First, this chapter looks into the conditions which created the period of parliamentary democracy under U Nu turbulent old ages taking the failure of the experiment of democracy in Myanmar. The intent is to analyze the development in the first 14 old ages of independent with a position to determine the ground for the reaching of an isolationist political order under Ne Win in 1962. Parliamentary democracy as an effort to work out the post-independent Myanmar crisis had failed. Under the parliamentary democracy, the strong and acute government of the colonial period degenerated into a weak province with weak society with multiple jobs embracing political, economic, security and integrity had disrupted. The tendency was reversed as province reasserted with military headed by Ne Win had occupied political power. Ne Win created a strong and acute province based on isolationism. The context and motivation of such isolationist political order is examined in the chapter. In the 2nd portion of this chapter, the constituents and structural form of isolationism in Myanmar ‘s political procedure is analysed. The chief statement in this chapter is that prioritising of security docket due to relentless controversy to national integrity and province sovereignty evolved into constructing a strong and acute province that mostly dissociated the society from everything political both by ideological justification, by force and airing of fright. In the procedure, Ne Win patrimonalized Tatmadaw and every bit mentioned, isolationism was politicised which explains the ground for the length of service and fullness of isolationism and political and economic decay. For understanding such political alterations affected with military taking over political power, this chapter looks at the developments in the early old ages of independency. Therefore, this chapter mentions the challenges and ends visualised by the opinion elites, that is, the undertakings before the freshly independent state, and the scheme employed to gain the ends or queer the challenges to the ends. We will see that the civilian political elites and military leaders had encountered similar job of developing a nation-building and development scheme that can advance a cohesive state. The post-colonial Myanmar dominated by security concerns of a inveterate conflicting society, and accordingly, there was continuity though the nature of government changed. This chapter considers the disruptive period of parliamentary democratic government in 1950s-1960s and the failing of the democratic procedures and their histrions, eventually taking to the point of democratic dislocation. These considerations will assist to analyze the motivation of political passage that came with military regulation and isolationism in its varied manifestations in the state. This chapter besides deals with the constituent or structural form of the isolationist political system under Ne Win.

Ideological Syncretism and State Consolidation

In the early forenoon of 4 January 1948, Myanmar attained the minute the Myanmese had been contending for long i.e, independency. However, instantly after independency, it found itself entangled in unsolved jobs and challenges gifted by colonialism. The first few old ages in the life of independent Myanmar were full of uncertainnesss, the successful resoluteness of which would hold direct deductions on keeping their new-won independency. Broadly talking, independent Myanmar faced two sorts of challenges: 1 that, after independency, there was immense undertaking of consolidating control over groups that disputed the legitimacy of the province and making a national individuality to unite a divided population, and two, that of reconstructing a war-devastated economic system.[ 1 ]Therefore, the vision of integrity, peace and prosperity were the outstanding demand and undertaking before the new state. The authorities had to happen rapid solution for the twin challenges to integrity and development, both inherited from colonial connexion, so that the legitimacy of Myanmar as a state continues. How did the challenges to nation-building, development and prosperity as stated were attempted to manage in the first decennary after independency had great deductions for future Myanmar?

The unfortunate decease of Aung San pushed loath U Nu into spotlight in independent Myanmar as leader of AFPFL and the first Prime Minister. U Nu had Aung San ‘s vision to steer him in visualizing and jointing roadmaps towards political and economic stableness. Aung San who dreamt independent Myanmar to be a individual entity, one time said that if the Burman receives one Kyat ( the Myanmese currency ) , the minorities will besides acquire one Kyat ( Smith 1991: 78 ) . To cover with crises of cultural and political disunity, what Aung San envisioned was unifying the myriad of cultural groups within Myanmar through the ideal of ‘unity in diverseness ‘ , which envisaged local liberty and limited separation among non-Burman cultural groups. In political idiom, he intended to set up a Union based on a federal system with equal commissariats to safeguard the rights and involvements of the national minorities. He convinced the British that Myanmar had have been ready for independency through Panglong Agreement, where he promised minority groups such as the Shan, Chin and Kachin that their fiscal and administrative liberty would be protected.[ 2 ]On the specific issue of separate provinces, the understanding stated that a ‘separate Karen province within a incorporate Myanmar is desirable. ‘ Myanmar ‘s way for independency, and subsequently, its quest for national integrity, and to procure co-operation from the minorities, Aung San and other leaders considered constitutional democracy to be the appropriate political construction. Aung San ‘s premature blackwash placed the duty of cementing a multiethnic state into a Union on the soldier of U Nu. Sing the volatile nature of Myanmar, U Nu besides endorsed Myanmar, a state with long autocratic traditions, get marrieding western liberal-democratic norms.

On the leading and ideological forepart, despite the grant in response to name for independency and integrity, chauvinistic, anti-capitalistic and pro-socialistic propensity of the opinion AFPFL Thakin leaders did non vanished with the settlement of colonial regulation. The syncretism of what was professed and what they liked was apparent in the constitutional words and patterns. The first fundamental law of independent Myanmar was drafted and approved by a Constituent Assembly in 1947, and it came into force upon independency. The new fundamental law provided a British modelled parliamentary system of the authorities but blended values and thoughts of broad democracy with socialistic values and ends. The consequence was a ‘liberal fundamental law with socialistic aspirations. ‘ As Maung Maung ( 1969:196 ) references, socialist province was the announced end of new Myanmar. Prime Minister U Nu while traveling the acceptance of the bill of exchange fundamental law in the Constituent Assembly on 24 September, 1947 addresss ( U Nu quoted in ibid. ) :

“ Let me state at one time that the foundations laid for New Burma are those of a left-of-center state. And a left-of-center state is one in which the people working together to the best of their power and ability, strive to change over the natural resources and green goods of the land, both above land and below land, into consumer trade goods to which everybody will be entitled harmonizing to his demand. ”

In other words, independent Myanmar was committed to a people ‘s democratic socialist province and a planned economic system for guaranting societal and economic justness, dedicated to the up-liftment of the stuff and cultural life of the people and to their protection from economic development, insecurity and maltreatments, therefore, attempted to guarantee political and economic stableness. In existent pattern, the theoretical orientation to liberal-democratic ideals of the fundamental law of 1947 was adapted to the specific Myanmar conditions and in respond to the state ‘s historical bequests. That is to state, as Callahan ( 1998:52 ) argues that the operational portion of the fundamental law reflected the Thakins ‘ misgiving for democracy, alternatively being focussed on the authorization of the province to construct a strong and just economic system.

U Nu, as Prime Minister, began his station independent political calling with the purpose of carry throughing the end of developing a incorporate and comfortable state out of the delicate political and economic state of affairs, but the method and political orientation he adopted were non ever in line with Aung San ‘s bequests. For case, Nu non merely substituted Aung San ‘s ‘unity in diverseness ‘ for an attack to nation-building based on Burman values, but besides extended his spiritual beliefs into political relations based on Buddhism as province faith. Keeping unity as paramount importance, the first fundamental law of 1947 provided a unitary signifier of province, decentralised some grade, but non federal in existent sense. Harmonizing to Taylor ( 1987:227 ) , the fundamental law of 1947 “ delineated the federal province, but in world provided a centralized governmental system. ” The assorted commissariats of the new fundamental law called for liberty of the cultural minorities and protection of their civilization, but this was non upheld by effectual support of the authorities at the Centre. In pattern, the minorities claimed that the Burmans sought to set up their hegemony and tried to advance their linguistic communication and faith ( Buddhism ) by utilizing province setup. Such attitude of the minority groups, coupled with authorities ‘s inability to run into high outlooks of development in minority parts due to miss of financial and administrative resources evaporated the good will created by the Panglong understanding and the constitutional words of 1947. Such at odds perceptual experiences was reflected in political relations between 1948 and 1962 in contradiction to the Panglong Agreement which provided the cultural groups as co-founder of the Union. Therefore, the rule of “ integrity in diverseness ” and self-determination implying broad liberty for the provinces under-pinning the Union was neglected. As Gravers ( 1993:43-71 ) points out, an sturdy strain of patriotism as engrained in colonial outlook which was inauspicious to cultural pluralism was created and that has shaped the inter-ethnic dealingss of all time since. Minorities shortly felt Aung San ‘s promise betrayed in independent Myanmar. The cultural strifes replaced cultural Concord straight endangering stableness of the infant state. A crisis of designation with the province developed as many of the minority subdivisions did non desire to be portion of the province or recognize the legitimacy of the weak leading of introvert U Nu. In other words, independent Myanmar ‘s attempt to construct a strong state was greatly enfeebled by colonial bequest and chauvinistic attitude of the dominant cultural Burmans, weak leading and politicised ethnicity among others.

Another issue was concern for development. The authorities of the Union of Burma/Myanmar sought to run into the undertaking of re-building a war-devastated Myanmar economic system and neutralizing the economic ailments of a capitalist colonial heritage by a theoretical account more committed to socialism through planned national economic policy via large-scale province control of the economic system ( The Nationalization Act, 1948 ) . Myanmar, nevertheless, rejected the Soviet instruction of violent revolution and stressed that it was through evolutionary method that the ideal of province socialism was to be achieved ( Tinker 1967:94 ) . The ‘Two Year Plan for Economic Development of Myanmar ‘ , announced in April 1948, the Land Nationalization Act, 1948 and the Pyidawtha[ 3 ]or ‘Eight Year Programme of Economic and Social Reform Programme ‘ launched in 1952, envisaged the constitution of a socialist economic system by gradual method. Patriotism and xenophobia, excessively, provided drift to socialistic vision of the new state, that is, nationalisation was besides directed against aliens ‘ domination over Myanmar economic system, peculiarly western and Indian ain houses. The land nationalisation put lands from the custodies of Indian land proprietors into the custodies of Myanmese husbandmans.

Myanmar under U Nu ‘s leading besides attempted to progress his state through moral and societal transmutation, which when combined with his socialistic and spiritual sentiments led to understanding and acceptance of socialism ‘more as a device for societal equalisation than for economic development ‘ , and every bit mentioned, advocated that Buddhism held the key to Myanmar ‘s societal coherence and sweetening. In the ulterior period of his term of office, U Nu dropped many of the earlier socialist oriented economic programs and alternatively, the development of economic system through private sector was encouraged ( Langpoklakpam 2006:12 ) . The military officers, who committed to the economic and developmental facets of socialism, and secular values, strongly opposed such alterations in the precedence of the province modernisation scheme. Finally, it contributed to as one of the factor for the military to capture political power forcibly through a putsch in 1962 and till 1988, the military authoritiess adopted growth-oriented socialist political orientation and isolationism, centred on security docket to protect province consolidation based on a unitary construction, and harmonizing to military values and involvements.

. As have been mentioned, the post-independent leading in Myanmar were non enthusiastic to democratic political system, instead it was irresistible impulse to convert the British to allow independency, and concern for integrity that demanded under Panglong Agreement which necessitate following a liberal-democratic fundamental law and Panglong Agreement. Such agreement came, in spirit, as a signifier of via media between democracy and socialism. It may be mentioned here that democracy was identified with capitalist economy and colonial regulation by Thakin leaders, and the disposition towards democracy besides created jobs unfriendly to national solidarity. The communist elements within AFPFL, who criticised democracy as the system of the coloniser, disliked liberal-democratic ideals and wanted transmutation of Myanmese society through radical method. No uncertainty, they were the first immediate menace to national integrity. The failure to accomplish a incorporate state by political agencies resulted in more than sixty old ages of civil war from 1948 to show. Though of late, many armistice understandings have been reached between the cardinal authorities and the several cultural Rebel groups, the cultural rebellions that began shortly after independency still plagues the state ‘s promotion supplying an alibi for the continuation of military regulation.

Socialism in a democratic set up had formed the theoretical account for province modernisation and nation-building. In other words, the elements in recognizing the national ends in the immediate wake independency were externally democratic, but socialism, unitary patriotism dictatorship in spirit, which were closely linked to and reflected a prevalent political tradition among the civilian and military elites of the state. The other major influence was Buddhism, which consecutive authorities had attempted to tackle an instrument to derive legitimacy with changing grade of success. More specifically, it was with the realisation subsequently that debut of democratic province as vision of a incorporate, comfortable and independent Myanmar would stay elusive impression, the province ‘s publicity of Buddhism gained greater importance. When the Pyidawtha programme failed, the quest for national integrity and development shifted from an economic focal point to a religious one under the influence of U Nu ‘s increasing devotedness to Buddhism. Buddhism which was inextricably tied to Burman individuality was integrated into the political orientation of the province as a major factor for set uping an ideal society. The move hastened inter-ethnic tensenesss with non-Buddhist Myanmese fearing assimilation to civilization of the bulk. Meanwhile, the armed forces who was fighting to command the civil war found the policy of the authorities resentful. The highly chauvinistic, anti-capitalistic and socialist-oriented military leaders were greatly disturbed by U Nu ‘s disposition toward private sector to retrace the deteriorating economic system and entreaty to faith in political relations.

Turbulent Decade of Parliamentary Democratic

As have been mentioned, after independency, Myanmar came under parliamentary democratic government[ 4 ]until 1962 with the exclusion of a period of 18 months between 1958 and 1960 during which a legal military caretaker authorities replaced the civilian authorities. In March 1962, military seized political power, this clip through force and putsch, in position of the armed forces ‘s sensed failure of the parliamentary democratic system to procure the integrity and public assistance of the state. The military idea that parliamentary democratic authorities under Prime Minister U Nu could non convey Myanmar to the way of integrity and prosperity and hence legitimacy of the authorities was contested by several groups doing widespread internal upset. The Myanmar military, whose political position and purchase was on the rise amidst such upset within Myanmar became apathetic to the parliamentary democratic system and finally, it ousted the civilian authorities under U Nu out of power.

Myanmar ‘s calamity began right after independency, as the state faced itself entangled in a battle to continue the delicate integrity that Aung San had pulled together. For the undermentioned 10 old ages, Myanmar was a ‘tormented ‘ parliamentary democracy, because of the political convulsion between conflicting political political orientations and politicised cultural groups fomented by hapless economic conditions ( Turku 2009:79 ) . The Communists and the viing cultural Rebels groups who felt below the belt treated in the 1947 fundamental law challenged Prime Minister U Nu ‘s leading ( ibid. ) and the state was engulfed into multi-front civil war.

Independence arrived with Red Flag Communists of Thakin Soe revolting armed insurgence against the AFPFL authorities. The Communist Party of Myanmar ( CPB ) was established in Myanmar with the support of the Aung San before the World War Two. But it was splited into two cabals in 1945 led by two different leaders viz. Thakin Soe and Than Tun. Thakin Soe ‘s cabal was known as Red Flags, whereas the mainstream cabal led by Than Tun was called White Flags. While the Red Communists had been outlawed by the British in 1946 at which clip it had started insurgence motion, the White Communists ab initio adopted a compromising position in relation to the opinion AFPFL, but their continued dissatisfaction caused them to went into unfastened rebellion against the authorities since March 1948. The Communists argued that the AFPFL had become little more than a tool of British imperialism and that it was hence necessary to subvert it and set up a proper people ‘s authorities ( U-Thant Myint 2007:259 ) . Two months subsequently, bulk of the PVO known as Yellow set joined the Rebels. The Yellow set members were made up of demobilised former soldiers of the BIA, doing them a really believable menace to the authorities. Around this clip, some units of the regular ground forces consisting of Union Military Police and the First and Third Myanmar Rifles mutinied and joined either the Communists or the PVO.

Up to this point, the anti-government rebellions were either of ideological or local in character such as Communists and PVO, but by the terminal of the first twelvemonth of independency disgruntled cultural minorities such as Arakanese, Karen, Karenni and Mon besides articulated claims of societal and political liberty based on ethnicity, and holding disgusted with the constitutional agreement, they, like the Communists, took up weaponries against the province. The Karen National Defence Organization ( KNDO ) , the military wing of the Karen National Union ( KNU ) , numbering in its ranks many seasoned military personnels from British colonial yearss, posed a formidable menace to the Union authorities. The necessity of contending what have been competently termed as the “ motley insurgence ” , affecting the Communists, PVO and cultural insurrectionists at the same time was hard, if non impossible, for the infant authorities and its ill-equipped, inexperient and little forces. As a consequence, the probationary authorities[ 5 ]under U Nu could command little other than capital itself, gaining it the scoffer “ the Rangoon Government ” ( South 2008:27 ) . In the words of Thant Myint U ( 2007:270 ) , with Rebels capturing the country-side, the authorities loyalist islands of authorities control in a sea of unsure authorization.

Another of import obstruction to Myanmar ‘s security and peace developed in the signifier of Chaing Kai-Shek ‘s Nationalist Chinese Forces or Kuomintang ( KMT ) unit deluging into Myanmar side of Sino-Myanmar boundary line in the north E. These forces had settled in Shan province after their licking at the custodies of the ground forces of the People ‘s Republic of China and at that place they laid the foundation for a multi-dollars planetary opium-heroin concern which still flourishes ( Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe 1997:79 ) . Fearing foreign intercession, U Nu wanted the KMT forces removed from Myanmar ‘s dirt and in several diplomatic intercessions at the United Nations, he managed to acquire most of the regular military personnels withdraw to Taiwan. But the worst development was that the military unit dispatched into Shan province to counter the KMT ended up perpetrating atrociousnesss and triping a Shan rebellion in the late fiftiess ( ibid. ) .

In Rangon itself, intensifying the series of internal challenges, work stoppage and protests were staged by authorities clerks, pupils and workers in the authorities services ( Tinker 1957:127 ) . The nation-wide work stoppage of Ministerial Service Union that began on February 1949 was shortly dispersed among pupils and to Railway Union. They were protesting against authorities enforcing salary cut following break of economic activities in the Rebel occupied countries, so that the financial strain the civil war had exerted to the authorities could be redeemed. In the thick of such crises, U Nu besides found the members of his cabinet had approached the White communist leader, Than Tun, and offered to give to the Communists the leading of the state ( ibid. ) . At this point the parliamentary democratic system could salvage itself merely because the Communists, overrating the strength of their place, had rejected the proposal. All these developments about paralysed working of U Nu ‘s authorities. In fact, the whole state experienced an lawless status.

During these disruptive old ages of post-independence, U Nu ‘s initial attack had been consolidation through conciliation. It showed success in covering with some disgruntled member of his cabinet and administrative functionaries. U Nu ‘s besides attempted to pacify choler and misgiving of the assorted cabals directed towards the Myanmar authorities. In order to keep national integrity and co-operation, a compromising 15-Point Leftist Unity Plan[ 6 ]which envisioned courting the belowground Communists and retaining the PVO leftovers, was declared in May 1948. But the ideological and personal differences between the Rebel leaders and the cardinal authorities proved so broad that it could non be reconciled successfully. A calm by personality, U Nu had another failing. His attempts were frequently reactive, unprompted and short-sighted. When his good connotations had received tepid responses, he even offered to vacate as Prime Minister and AFPFL president provided the assorted cabals would hold on a peaceable solution. In position of the Rebels ‘ sturdy gesture and progressively hawkish responses, U Nu, nevertheless, gave a 2nd idea to his attack. Possibly, his preponderantly compromising attitude delayed a conclusive solution to Myanmar ‘s mounting security jobs. Disgusted U Nu subsequently decided to run into force by force. Besides, in class of clip, the multi-front rebellions which in the beginning proved extremely successful were plagued by internal differences and many confederations among them proved impermanent. In March 1950, PVO broke confederation with the Communists, thereby cut downing the menace of a potentially unsafe combination. In August, KNU leader Saw Ba U Gyi was ambushed and killed by an ground forces patrol. In the interim, U Nu with the aid of Ne Win, the ground forces head as of 1949, had responded to arise menaces by greatly bettering the authorities ‘s military mechanism. By 1952, the Rangoon governments had eliminated much serious armed menace to their authorization. Nevertheless, the spread Communists and other political discontents as military units coalesced with condemnable elements in terrorising subdivisions of the countryside, interrupting transit and interfering by and large governmental and economic maps ( Cady 1953:60 ) . In fact, peace and security had become instead impossibleness.

The delicate state of affairs affected development concerns of the authorities. With independency, the function of the province had greatly expanded, but it proved incommensurate with the form, focal point and effectivity of the authorities. As the new province was trying to retrace the economic system, even as the civil war was traveling on, the province encountered a major administrative job due to rapid forces turnover in the bureaucratism at independency. Independent Myanmar suffered from rapid loss of forces efficiency and institutional effectivity. Most of the senior members of the British administrative services in Myanmar had repute of efficiency and unity, and gained prestigiousnesss and societal standing throughout their places. But, most of the senior administrative officials who served the colonial authorities were non Myanmese, but largely Indians and Europeans, and with the autumn of the British regulation they either retired voluntarily or were encouraged to go forth ; and except few British functionaries, most of them preferred to go forth Myanmar. Thus, legion vacancies were created in post-independent administrative establishments which were filled by Myanmese who had been functioning low-level places in the colonial authorities. The British administrative policy of intentionally making nil to develop the Myanmese functionaries oriented to the developmental maps of the province disable the bureaucratic machinery of state adapt to the economic duties of the post-independent Myanmar. As Khin Maung Kyi ( 1966:133 ) argues that, in an unstable political ambiance where the authorization of the political leading had yet to be steadfastly legitimated, administrative officials were required to get by with a altering function, traveling from that of the ‘upholder of the position quo in a colonial societal order to that of a socio-economic organiser in a underdeveloped society ‘ . But the administrative functionaries were non really accommodating to their changing duty. The extractive and distributive capableness of the political system was caught up in red-tape and became dysfunctional due to immense spread between function demand and existent public presentation of the administrative officials, and they tended to defy the helter-skelter enlargement of their function that accompanied the far-stretched economic policies demanded. Alternatively, the administrative officers were pushed to concentrate in the colonial administrative precedences of aggregation of gross and care of jurisprudence and order following turning political instability. Therefore, province ‘s development programs suffered due to incapacity of the province to implement the programs, including the inability of the authorities functionaries and the delicate security state of affairs. The prioritizing security docket as a consequence further absorbed province ‘s resources and limited developmental range of the authorities. In other words, the end of societal and economic justness through planned development and province guidance suffered execution defects.

Though the economic system was bit by bit deteriorating, armed rebellion were brought under control by fall backing to province ‘s military and punitory forces. But, Myanmar was non destined to acquire rid of its legitimacy crises. When the state ‘s battle for endurance against the Rebels posed no small menace, intra-party struggle within the opinion AFPFL alliance erupted. Thus, in the background of civil war and the economic recession, there come to the bow, convulsion in the dominant opinion party which, as a consequence, irretrievably splited the party into two bitterly hostile cabals in 1958. Each cabal was led by two of the state ‘s four most outstanding political figures who had been in changeless association since the early yearss of the battle for independency. Prime Minister U Nu and a Deputy Prime Minister Thakin Tin led a cabal known as the ‘clean AFPFL ‘ group. The other cabal headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ba Swe and Kyaw Nyien was called as the ‘real AFPFL ‘ . This political crisis badly tested constitutional and democratic continuity in Myanmar ( Trager 1959:318 ) .

The immediate cause of the split was a struggle over the assignment of the secretary to AFPFL, but the inner-party differences had continued since long clip back. The differences was less doctrinal or ideological, notwithstanding the outward visual aspects and words on assorted issues and policies, instead, the interruption occurred as a consequence of the flood tide of drawn-out annoyance and intuition among the leaders of the party ( ibid. ) and as Silverstein ( 1977:28 ) references due to ‘structural defects and the altering political clime. ‘ As a symbolic leader, U Nu ‘s regard was high, for case, along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Binobha Bhave and Mao Zedong, he was considered four chief figures in Asia in 1955. But, as politician and among his co-workers, he was one among peers who neither able to keep his legitimacy nor leading place. The very nature of AFPFL as alliance of different political orientations besides contributed to the struggle within. The AFPFL, as Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe ( 1997:82 ) asserts, was a alliance of different rival cabals led by its ‘bosses ‘ like U Ba Swe, Kyaw Nyein, Thakin Tin and Kyaw Tun who were tied down by certain common aims and chances. Once the anti-imperial patriotism that had provided a strong plenty accelerator to keep these opposing cabals together faded and many of the menaces from Rebels to integrity dwindled supplying some room for unfastened political relations, Myanmese political life revived coupled with many political immoralities non contributing for the smooth working of parliamentary democratic system such as ‘charges of corruptness, political play-offs, nepotism, and married womans interventions in hubbies ‘ cabinet ‘ , as Trager ( 1958:147 ) references, were freely bandied about, most of which appeared by the early 1950s. These political jobs were closely linked to the factor of personalization of power and decision-making, and the nature of internal political relations under the one-party dominant system. Both were complementary factors in paralyzing Myanmese political life.

Myanmar held elections in April 1947 to take its Constitution Assembly, and the first general elections for the bicameral parliament were held in 1951-52. In the intervening period, as mentioned, it was ruled by a probationary authorities under AFPFL ‘s massive laterality. The political hegemony of the party was clearly established by winning immense parliamentary bulks in the first two national elections held in 1951 and 1956 severally. However, for all practical intents, Myanmese democracy during this period, though proviso for alteration was institutionally available, in world, remained to be on paper. The AFPFL functioned with no constitutionally responsible and critical resistance to its policies and determinations. In ultimate analysis, it meant that the top few leaders who held excessively much power but were less responsible, dominated Myanmese political life. As Trager ( 1959:318 ) references, ‘these work forces had worked together for about two decennaries in which excessively many loads had been carried by excessively few of them, who did non cognize how to broaden their ranks and lightened their tonss, or they were loath or did non take the clip to make so. ‘

During the first general elections, the most believable parliamentary resistances were the Myanmar Workers ‘ and Peasants ‘ Party ( BWPP ) and the Independent Arakanese Parliamentary group ( IAPG ) , but their effectivity were rarely felt. In fact, the chief parliamentary opposition during this period, BWPP, was formed by leftist socialists who one time formed portion of theAFPF. It defected from the conference and with their going, AFPFL was confined to a really limited group of individual, most of who relied around personality of the U Nu boulder clay 1958 because he held broad constitutional power and personal prestigiousness, and ne’er belonged to any party except the alliance itself ( Bandyopadhaya 1983:40 ) before the formal split. Theoretically, affairs were to be decided on the footing of consensus, but, in world, this consensus was ne’er attained until Prime Minister U Nu made up his head ( ibid. ) . Under such fortunes, the Myanmese democracy as Bandyopadhaya ( ibid. :42 ) argues became a cabal of coterie political relations, non of bulk regulation, and all the political and economic determinations and actions, during 10 old ages before the AFPFL split of 1958, were characterized by undemocratic tendencies. Maung Maung ( 1969:284 ) claims that U Nu himself admitted this by citing him as: ‘Most of… ..decisions were carried on at the induction of one, two or three leaders without equal treatment and audience with other members of the party, and far less with individuals and involvements outside the party. ‘ Therefore, one of the causes of the split was U Nu ‘s intolerant attitude towards his co-workers, his high laterality and attendant misinterpretation and hostility among the AFPFL leaders. It happened so because of the very nature of the political relations as battle for power. In the context of Myanmar, in the absence of effectual parliamentary resistance in the political set up, the hassle for power, as Donnison ( 1970:155 ) says, was ‘played out within the rank of the AFPFL and its Alliess, and non between them and the parliamentary resistance. ‘

Democracy was non practiced within the party itself. The party ran the authorities, but, in pattern, it was the little coterie at the top who controlled the party and the authorities. The worst was the turning discords within the little coterie as corruptness came with power. The leaders progressively became edgy, impatient with co-workers and unfavorable judgment, and relied more and more in unprompted and arbitrary personal actions without the aid of house institutionalised regulation, established processs and sound constructions. The period was such that ‘the laterality of political differences in the intelligence overshadowed the accomplishments of the authorities ‘ ( Silverstein 1977:7-18 ) . Public disdain besides grew over factional battles of the politicians. At the same clip, economic status was deteriorating following fluctuation in monetary value of rice in international market and rebellions against the authorities were still active as disbanded military units. As a consequence of all these, popular support of the AFPFL decreased. Although the election consequence of the 1956 brought back the AFPFL to power, its parliamentary strength had been diminished both in term of place captured and the per centum of ballots secured. The BWPP led alliance resistance known as the National United Front ( NUF ) , dwelling of the BWPP, the Peoples Unity Party ( PUP ) and their Alliess, and a new non-socialist Justice Party led by former Supreme Court justice, Dr. E Maung, and a few other resistances captured about 46 per centum of the entire ballots, though they won lesser seats. As Langpoklakpam ( 2006:6 ) argues the massive construction of the AFPFL began to interrupt down. However, it was non the parliamentary resistance which was interrupting AFPFL ‘s laterality because still they lacked figure and influence ; instead it was confusions over personal competitions and factional struggles within the party that lingered on for long. It was at this phase that U Nu decided to vacate his station as Prime Minister for one twelvemonth and as President of the AFPFL, to put about ‘clean it up ‘ from corruptness and personal competitions. When he really did it, U Ba Swe became Prime Minister and U Khyaw Nyein deputy Prime Minister. However, U Nu returned office ten months subsequently, still his undertaking remained uncomplete. Last attempt to continue AFPFL integrity was convention of Third All Myanmar Congress of the Party in June 1958. The ‘unity convention ‘[ 7 ]excessively could non accommodate the split that had developed among the top leaders peculiarly since mid 1950s and finally, AFPFL split into two cabals as mentioned before in 1958.

The post-split political state of affairs was really critical. As party got disconnected, the 30 member opinion cabinet was divided into two equal halves between the two cabals ( Gyi 1983:120 ) . The inquiry was which cabal would govern Myanmar? U Ba Swe presented a no-confidence gesture to convey about a political solution to the inquiry, and accordingly, a particular session of the lower house of the parliament was convened where comparative strength of the Nu-Tin group and Swe-Nyein cabal was tested. In the 250 member house, Nu-Tin Group won 127 ballots against 119 ballots secured by Swe-Nyein cabal ( ibid. ) . U Nu ‘s new cabinet survived merely through support of left-of-center resistance alliance NUF and political support from the minority party secured by assuring to work for new Mon and Arakanese provinces. However, the bulk was so delicate that Nu felt need to go through one-year budget by presidential edict because he doubted the needed bulk in the parliament to O.K. it ( Steinberg 1983:69 ) . U Nu ‘s leading was greatly weakened and began susceptible to both push and pull force per unit areas from the alliance spouses. Under influence of the leftist protagonists, the Prime Minister offered complete amnesty to all insurrectionists willing to give up and assured that they would be permitted to contend the following elections. Harmonizing to Steinberg ( 1981:15 ) , approximately 2, 000 insurrectionists surrendered and there developed a new legal left-of-center party, the People ‘s Comrades Party. U Nu was besides pushed to integrate into the ground forces the surrendered left-of-center PVO insurrectionists and to take cardinal military figures opposed to the left-of-center policies of the NUF, which were strongly opposed by the Myanmese military ( ibid. ) . In fact, the turning influence of the Communists in the formal political relations greatly disturbed the military ( ibid. ) . Around this clip, taking advantage of the weak place of the authorities, Karen and Shan insurrectionists besides revived their demands for greater liberty or sezession. U Nu ‘s political oppositions U Ba Swe and U Kyaw Nyein even went to the extent of doing a secret confederation with the ground forces in order to throw out U Nu from power ( U Nu 1975: pp325-327 ) . This clip U Nu could non hang on under these force per unit areas. Therefore, forces of political divisiveness, the uninterrupted multi-front insurgence and the weakening economic system, combined to destabilise the first decennary of parliamentary democratic authorities under U Nu. At that point, an understanding was reached that U Nu would officially bespeak the military to organize a caretaker authorities through constitutional processs. U Nu unwittingly allowed ‘alternate ‘ leader Ne Win, the military head, to derive province and administrative control by passing them governing power. The military assumed direct political power for the first clip. This event was referred to by as a “ putsch by consent ” or “ constitutional coup’detat ” ( Steinberg 1983:63 ) .