Anti-Fascist Organisation

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The Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO) was a Burmese resistance movement against the Japanese Occupation during the Second World War. It was the forerunner of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League so renamed at the end of the war on 19 August 1945 after the defeat of Japan and the return of the British colonial administration. The AFO was formed at a meeting in Pegu in August 1944 held by the leaders of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), the Burma National Army (BNA) led by General Aung San, and the People's Revolutionary Party (PRP) later renamed the Socialist Party.[1][2]

Leaders of the CPB Thakin Than Tun and Thakin Soe, while in Insein prison in July 1941, had co-authored the Insein Manifesto which, against the prevailing opinion in the nationalist movement led by the Dobama Asiayone (We Burmans Association), identified world fascism as the main enemy in the coming war and called for temporary cooperation with the British in a broad allied coalition which should include the Soviet Union. Soe had already gone underground to organise resistance against the Japanese Occupation, and Than Tun as Minister of Land and Agriculture was able to pass on Japanese intelligence to Soe, while other Communist leaders Thakin Thein Pe and Thakin Tin Shwe made contact with the exiled colonial government in Simla, India. Aung San was War Minister in the puppet administration set up on 1 August 1943 which also included the Socialist leaders Thakin Nu and Thakin Mya.[1][2]

On 27 March 1945 Aung San successfully led the BNA in a national uprising against the Japanese in collaboration with the Allied Forces. It was the last of Thakin Soe's four wartime directives titled Independence Statement No.4:The Time To Revolt Has Come, issued on 27 February on the eve of the AFPFL's crucial meeting in Rangoon, that outlined the main tactical and organisational principles of the resistance movement. Bohmu Ba Htoo, the communist commander of the BNA's northwest military command based in Mandalay, started the rebellion three weeks earlier on 8 March in order to divert attention from Aung San.[2]

March 27 had been commemorated as 'Resistance Day' until the military junta renamed it Tatmadaw (Armed Forces) Day.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Oliver Hensengerth (2005). The Burmese Communist Party and the State-to-State Relations between China and Burma. Leeds East Asia Papers. pp. 10–12. 
  2. ^ a b c Martin Smith (1991). Burma - Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London and New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 60–61. 

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