- "Patriotic" or "nationalist associations" (Ba Maw translates wunthanu as "racially faithful ones") established in rural villages that were closely associated with the General Council of Burmese Associations (GCBA) and the General Council of Sangha Sammeggi (GCSS). They played a major role in political mobilization against British colonial rule before the Saya San (Hsaya San) Rebellion of 1930-1932. Thousands of these associations operated on the local level, charged with promoting pride in Burmese tradition, national identity, and the Buddhist religion and with agitating against oppressive measures such as the 1907 Village Act, which imposed heavy forced labor burdens on the populace. "Political pongyis" played a key role in their activities. Because local wunthanu athin leaders constituted, in a sense, an alternative source of authority to the village headmen appointed by the British, they were subject to harsh government measures.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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