Aung San-Attlee Agreement

   (January 27, 1947)
   On December 20, 1946, Britain's Labour prime minister, Clement Attlee, invited Burma's Executive Council to send a delegation to London to discuss the process through which the country would achieve independence. Aung San led the six-man delegation, which included Thakins Mya and Ba Pe of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL), Ba Sein, U Saw, and U Tin Tut, a distinguished civil servant. They arrived in London on January 9, 1947, and after generally cordial negotiations signed the agreement on the 27th. It determined that the Executive Council would enjoy the status of an interim government similar to that of India, that the British government would consult it on matters of defense and foreign affairs and recognize its command of Burmese armed forces, and that an election for a constituent assembly would be held in April 1947. On the delicate issue of the relationship between Burma Proper (Ministerial Burma) and the Frontier Areas, the agreement affirmed the principle of their unification and provided for the establishment of a Frontier Areas Committee of Enquiry (FACE) to ascertain the opinions of the ethnic minority peoples on this matter. The success of the negotiations was due largely to Attlee's support of the AFPFL's demand for unification of the two areas, while his opponents in Parliament saw this as a betrayal of the ethnic minorities, especially the Karens (Kayins), who had stood by Britain in the war and wanted either continued British rule or their own independent state. U Saw and Ba Sein refused to sign the agreement, saying that it did not determine the date for independence, a tactic meant to undermine Aung San's leadership.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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