End of Empire100 days in 1945 that changed Asia and the world.

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  • Karen propose a different future for Burma

    1 October 1945. A range of Karen groups begin a three-day mass meeting in Rangoon to discuss a ‘humble memorial’ that proposes a separate Karen state within the British Commonwealth, to be federated with Burma at a later date. Fears are also aired that the culture and identity of Burma’s ethnic minorities are threatened. Mindful of the savage repression that Karen suffered during wartime resistance to the Japanese occupation and its puppet Burman regime, Karen want to retain their licensed weapons. While prepared to work with the returning British governor, they feel neglected by the British despite their longterm loyalty. This gathering foreshadows the unproductive London meeting in 1946 and the Karen uprising in 1949.

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    Map: Burmese ethnic groups