Myanmar’s (Burma) Struggle – III

Lead:  In the half-century since winning independence from Britain in 1948, Myanmar, more commonly known as Burma, failed to establish a stable, prosperous democracy.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Even during those years in which a civilian government ostensibly ruled, the hand of the military was not far from the levers of power. Periods of relative progress, internal peace and economic recovery were punctuated by times of turmoil and repression. By 1988, the military was in charge once again. Student protests against the regime had reached fever pitch.  The socialist government under former general U Ne Win fell and the armed forces under General Saw Maung, seized direct control of the government. The military moved to suppress the demonstrations and thousands of unarmed protesters were killed. Martial law was imposed over most of the country, and constitutional government was replaced by SLORC, the State Law and Restoration Council.

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Myanmar’s Struggle – II

Lead: After three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the nineteenth century, Myanmar, better known as Burma, was forced to become a province of British India.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In Burma, a highly developed Buddhist civilization had existed in the Irrawaddy Valley of Southeast Asia for a 1000 years when over a period of 50 years Britain ate away at the its borders finally annexing the nation completely in 1886. The Brits were traders, in Burma seeking teak, oil, and rubies, and access to Chinese trade over the mountains. Britain did not want a troublesome independent government in Burma causing any difficulties, therefore, the English took over.

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Myanmar’s (Burma) Modern Struggle – I

Lead:  The lush and beautiful nation of Myanmar more commonly known as Burma is in the late twentieth century being forced to confront its lack of human rights and democracy by a diminutive housewife, a mother of two Aung San Suu Kyi.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The struggle for Burmese democracy cannot be separated from its experience as a part of the British Empire. Like so many nations that look back to a time under British rule, Burma was an important outpost in the British trading system. For most of the nineteenth century, the British were reluctant imperialists. There were English statesmen that longed to the see the Union Jack fly above capitals around the world, but they were in the minority.

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The Great Trek – Part IV

Lead:  Their governor killed and the Zulu clan in open resistance to their invasion of tribal territory in Natal, the Afrikaners emigration known as the Great Trek, was in the winter of 1839 in serious danger of collapse.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Trekking to escape what they considered the pollution of British colonial rule, white South Africans of mostly Dutch descent called Afrikaners moved in covered wagons during the late 1830s northeast away from the Cape of Good Hope in two streams. One headed for the African heartland the other up over the Drankensburg Mountains down into the coastal area of Natal, into Zulu country. They believed the land was theirs for the taking. In the conviction that was common among most white colonials of that era, British and Afrikaner, the superiority of the white race was assumed and land, even though it had been a part of native African holdings for generations, was a ripe target for takeover.

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The Great Trek – III

Lead:  In the 1830s, the migration of white Afrikaners away from what they considered the pollution of British civilization in South Africa brought them into conflict with black native African tribes with powerful military traditions, among the most aggressive were the Zulu.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Almost from the beginning, the Great Trek was divided in its destination. Eventually, the majority of Afrikaaners would settle in the region northeast of the Vaal River in the African heartland, but early on a substantial segment tried to alight in the lush coastal province of Natal. This was Zulu territory and the province of Zulu King Dingaan who looked with increasing alarm at the arrival of the Afrikaner families on their swift horses, brandishing the firearms which could make short work of his theretofore formidable military machine.

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The Great Trek – II

Lead:  The challenge to their way of life becoming unbearable, South Africans of Dutch ancestry in the 1830s moved away from the Cape Colony in the Great Trek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the British took control of the Cape of Good Hope in the early 1800s, they instituted changes increasingly considered unacceptable by settlers on the fringes of the colony of mostly Dutch ancestry who called themselves Afrikaners. Disputes over the treatment of native black and mixed race Africans many of whom the Afrikaners held in slavery, the new charges for land which theretofore had been free, and the inability or unwillingness of the British to provide the Dutch security from attack by natives from across the colony's frontier, intensified the Afrikaner desire to get away from the colony and live on their own.

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The Great Trek – I

Lead:  To escape what they considered to be invasions of their privacy and polluting influences, South Africans of Dutch ancestry in the 1830s began to migrate northeast away from the Cape Colony in what has come to be known as the Great Trek.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The earliest Europeans to settle the Cape of Good Hope at the southern-most tip of Africa were placed there by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. Their purpose was to provide a haven and provisions for ships carrying goods back and forth between Holland and southeast Asia. Until the beginning of the 1800s the Company had ruled the colony with a light hand leaving the settlers mostly to their own devices. During the wars against Napoleon, Britain secured the Cape Colony and looked up it as an important outpost on the colonial lifeline to India.

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