Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Burma in Limbo - Part 9

General Ne Win (1911-2002)
The architect and the leading manager of Ne Win’s 1958 Caretaker Government Colonel Maung Maung was a staunch anti-Communist and this was what he wrote about Communism.

“Communism is philosophically and economically wrong.  It had only made development so far (in Soviet Union and China) due to the temporary benefits of a dictatorship system. In fact the political system that was digging its own grave was not the capitalist free enterprise democratic system of government (as Carl Marx had predicted) but the one-party Communist system.”

Born a Buddhist but he became a closet Catholic after being almost converted by a Karen preacher during his long stay with the Karen as their prisoner of war in 1948. He was also strongly influenced by the Social Democrats in Israel since he had visited there and even studied how their kibbutz were run.  This was what he wrote about his Israeli dealings.

“I visited Israel every year since 1955 when I went to most western countries (USA, UK, Canada, even Japan, once France, Germany, and Yugoslavia) looking into developments in military training and equipment; so I visited Israel to observe IDF (Israel Defense Forces)’s year to year development that could be used for Burma’s own defense planning.

I made close friendships with the leaders of the IDF as well as those of Mapai Socialist Party and Mapai senior leaders accepted me as such and had many politico-social discussions on the ways and means of development of Israel and Burma.”

As his honest promise to U Nu to return Burma to parliamentary democracy Maung Maung had three major tasks ahead for his caretaker government to stabilize the country for the coming General elections.

1.      Restoration of Internal Security and Law and Order.
2.      Restoration of Economic Stability and Development.
3.      Preparations for the 1960 General Elections. 

He achieved his objectives within two years but at a cost Burma could never afford, for the tangible success of his Caretaker Government had put enough confidence of holding the absolute power again in Ne Win’s unsophisticated mind. And at the same time Ne Win’s successful Caretaker Government had prepared naturally-unsuspecting people of Burma to accept his military government again, in March 1962. 

Colonels Aung Gyi and Maung Maung: Two pillars of Ne Win's 1958 Caretaker Government.

                                                     (Coming Soon)

Burma in Limbo - Part 1