restricted access The Resistance Movement
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389 Section V, B. THE RESISTANCE MOVEMENT “The Resistance Movement” reproduced from Maung Maung, Burma’s Teething Time (Rangoon: Bamar Publications, 1949), pp. 15–20; first printed in The Burman, nd, by permission of Daw Khin Myint (wife of the late Dr Maung Maung). The rains have come and with the rains recollections of those bitter days of difficulty, danger and death when Burma rose as one man against the Japanese to achieve that historic Resistance. It was about this time, two years ago, that we were wading knee-deep in the mud and swamp east of the Sittaung river, throwing our feeble strength against the mighty hordes of the enemy who were leaving the Pegu Yomas for the open fields by the side of the Mandalay-Rangoon trunk road. We fought bravely. We were poorly-fed, ill-equipped, badly-armed. But all the same, we fought bravely, we fought with eagerness and joy, we fought like mad. But why did we, the Patriot Burmese Forces, fight so furiously in the mud of the Sittaung’s bed, in the hills and in the jungles? Why did our guerilla bands, so few in number, so feeble in strength, fight with so much determination an enemy, so strong, so well-equipped, so superior in 05B DrMaung.indd 389 2/28/08 2:46:14 PM Reproduced from Dr Maung Maung: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot by Robert H. Taylor (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at 390 DR MAUNG MAUNG: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot strategy, so well-trained for battle and so experienced in warfare. Why did Burma fight? What led to that Resistance Movement that made Burma’s history? Did the Burmese, young and old, men and women, fight for the sake of fighting: because the Burmese like blood, cannot stay quiet but must always be killing somebody? Let me answer these questions. As soon as he war in the Far East broke out on the 8th of December, 1941, the Japanese launched their long-planned invasion. With lightning thrusts, the spearhead of invasion drove its way, breaking defence lines of the unprepared Allied Forces until it entered Burma, a very few months after declaration of war. Burma was unprepared. Defence was weak and the few hurried preparations made at the eleventh hour to meet the onslaught were, of course, of no avail. And thus, the British went out and the Japanese came in. For Burma then it was just a change of masters. The Japanese made lavish promises to make Burma free immediately after she was occupied by their armies. They promised Burma many good things — from the much coveted crown of independence down to cheap consumer goods. Burma was deceived. Deceived by subtle Japanese propaganda, deceived by the coaxing voice from their radio that Japanese soldiers were coming to free the enslaved East. Independence! At last! The Japanese soldiers are coming with the torch of liberty in their hands! Burmese eyes sparkled and Burmese hearts danced with delight when they heard that. Fondly they waited to meet the Japanese liberators. The Japanese came. And the BIA came. And all was joy. The Burmese welcomed the BIA as the bringers-in of liberty, the Japanese as friends and helpers. Even the wounds of war, even the deaths and destruction that came before the Japanese and the BIA were forgotten. But only for a moment. The Japanese soon showed their true colours. They unbarred their yellow fangs and showed themselves myopic wolves and not the gallant knights or charming princes daring death to save Burma, the damsel in distress. Giddy with the pride of race and victory, they began to swagger about and bully the Burmese who had so recently welcomed them as liberators. Japan was ambitious. She was a visionary but short-sighted. She has had a meteoric rise to power and she dreamed of world conquest. 05B DrMaung.indd 390 2/28/08 2:46:14 PM The Resistance Movement 391 She believed herself the destined master of the world, or at least the Greater East Asia, and all people except the Japanese people were to be her slaves, she planned. Their wild wolves went about Burma and set up a Reign of Terror. The Japanese soldiers slapped Burmese elders in...


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Subject Headings

  • Burma -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Maung Maung, U, 1925-1994.
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