British complicity in the murder of Aung San
by Shenali Waduge on 26 May 2013 1 Comment

British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to give Sri Lanka lessons on human rights when he attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka in November 2013.


This is an astonishing statement coming from the head of a country that once ran an Empire on which it was said ‘the Sun never sets’. At its peak the British Empire was the largest empire the world had ever known. Closely associated with Empire was the term ‘White Man’s Burden’ coined by Rudyard Kipling in a poem (1899) drawing attention to the presumed responsibility of white people to govern and impart their culture to nonwhite people, which was often advanced by Western countries as a justification for European colonialism.


We no longer live in the colonial era. Sri Lanka is a free country having liberated ourselves from the manacles of terrorism not so long ago. We are a sovereign country with a citizenry proud of its achievements, both distant and recent, and of our manifest destiny. We do not need lessons on human rights, particularly unsolicited ones from people who have a lot to answer regarding their conduct in this very country over a period of 150 years. 


At the same time, we are polite and kind hearted people. As a matter of politeness and courtesy we will be happy to lend our ears to whatever that Mr. Cameron chooses to speak on without interruption on our part. If Mr. Cameron intends to use the occasion of CHOGM to air human rights concerns with a sense of grievance, it would be a great irresponsibility on his part to assume that countries ruled by the British Empire have lost their sense of grievance or have closed that dark chapter for good.


With power comes responsibilities and moral obligations. To use the simple words ‘We are sorry’ will go a long way to heal wounds stemming from colonial atrocities and misrule. We are no longer prepared to accept without protest global legal systems established by the West for the benefit and protection of the people of the West and its appointees to ensure the western colonial countries escape having to answer for all crimes committed. Where is justice when not a single colonial official has stood trial for crimes committed in the colonial era?


Yet, Third World nations are once more being hounded on issues of “accountability” in UN fora, totally ignoring the scale of crimes committed by the accusers. As an example, we illustrate the British complicity in ending the life of Myanmar’s national hero Aung San.


Murder of General Aung San


The incident took place on Saturday 19 July 1947 in Rangoon, 10:40 a.m. Aung San, Deputy Chairman of Burma’ interim government, was conducting a meeting of the Executive Council on the 2nd floor of the Secretariat Building, preparing for the transfer of power from Britain to Burma. Four youths dressed in army uniform carrying Sten and Tommy guns dashed upstairs and sprayed the room with blood, killing Aung San, six cabinet ministers including his older brother, a cabinet secretary and bodyguard. In a matter of moments the entire youthful leadership of post-independence Burma was mercilessly wiped out. So how was Britain involved in the murder of Aung San?  


U Saw, the former premier, was convicted of the murder of Aung San as weapons found close to his residence were the same weapons used in the murder; they had been stolen from the British army depot and supplied to him by Major Henry Young and Capt David Vivien. David Vivien was sentenced to five years in prison but “escaped” and ended up in the UK. In prison, U Saw, before hanging, sent a series of letters to Capt Vivien threatening to disclose all and demanding money from British Council officer Stuart Bingley who used diplomatic immunity to evade questioning and was quickly packed off to UK.


His death in 1979 sealed any information of his involvement. U Saw’s personal ties with British Governor Dorman-Smith and several discussions with the British to upstage Aung San further accentuated links of complicity. Moreover, a secret telegram sent by the British ambassador to Whitehall all but confirmed British collaboration in the murder. Moreover, British police officers not part of the conspiracy like Carlyle Seppings were told not to question any British officers about the crime. “This has got too big for both you and me”, his boss had warned him. “If you dig deeper, you’re going to tread on some very important corns”. Chau Zau, one of Aung San’s colleagues now exiled in China, revealed to the BBC2:  “The British government killed Aung San… it was their plot”. This should scare every Third World nation and their leaders.


Meanwhile, Fergal Keane in the London Guardian writes that the very same British Lords who conspired to murder Aung San also set up the British covert support apparatus among the ethnic hill tribes of the Golden Triangle to set into motion civil war against the very government to which it was simultaneously granting independence. This was how the British while showing statesmanship in granting independence, set up the Friends of the Burma Hill Peoples, to undermine that very independence. Can such colonial governments be trusted when on the surface support is shown but underneath even murder is plotted?


Accusations that British companies in Burma with the tacit approval of the British Government helped U Saw cannot be ruled out because these companies wanted to remain in Burma post-independence. If U Saw was backed by the British to carry out the murder it becomes no different to the backing given by the CIA and MI5 to Moise Tshombe to get rid of Congo’s martyr Patrice Lumumba, just as Osama Bin Laden was backed by the CIA against the Russians, Saddam Hussein was backed to attack Iran. Eventually these friends turned foes and were silenced before they could disclose the truth.


BBC Documentary (1997)


So when 50 years after the assassination, BBC Channel 2 releases a documentary in 1997 focusing the world’s attention and confirming what many believed was the complicity of the British government in the murder of Aung San, what purpose does it serve if the perpetrators remain free and “unaccountable” for the crimes committed? These revelations appear to be nothing but subtle threats implying what the West can do to nations and national leaders if they come between Western agendas.


Aung San was murdered in 1947; this was followed by the deaths of Congo’s national hero Patrice Lumumba and UN Chief Dag Hammarskjold for which CIA, MI5 and Belgium were jointly involved. Hammarskjold took the side of post-independent nations and was eliminated signaling that rule of law is dictated by the West according to Western agendas ONLY. Thereafter, all UN Secretary General’s are nothing but puppets for Western agendas. It is believed that 50 foreign leaders have been assassinated over the years by West-run agencies. Yet none of these crimes have been internationally investigated and perpetrators punished.


Aung San’s assassination is important for the manner in which foreign intelligence continue to set up organizations to fund locals to overthrow governments and tarnish images of leaders. For instance, the National Endowment for Democracy gets $2.5million annually and has admitted funding key opposition media including the New Era Journal and the Democratic Voice of Burma Radio; the George Soros Open Society Institute; Freedom House; Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute – all working for US strategic interests. We recently questioned in what ways the Rs. 600 million given to three NGOs in Sri Lanka was used for Sri Lanka’s regime change!


So how can we trust the handshake of goodwill extended by the West to Third World nations when we are aware of how they plan and plot murders of leaders with the ability to unite a nation against western imperialism?


Today, Britain and the West are on a witch hunt of Third World nations pointing fingers and using international media and biased human rights organizations to project nations as perpetrators of human rights violations, sweeping their past misdeeds under the carpet and never listing present misadventures for accountability in international courts that function to protect them.


Democracy has become the marketable tool to descend upon nations – the people of Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt have realized too late the lies.


The reality is that for the West the region from Myanmar to Banda Aceh (Indonesia) is likely to become one of the world’s most strategic choke-points; the West is dying to control these waters to control China’s energy supplies, which is why China increased its assistance to Myanmar. Oil and gas parachutes the West towards Myanmar; when Barack Obama champions Aung San Suu Kyi as Myanmar’s Mandela, we know who the West has tapped.


The assassination of Gen. Aung San was investigated by British journalists of BBC’s Channel 2. It brought to light the manner in which Western governments function and questions natives who adopt a “sepoy” attitude whereby despite knowing the manipulations of these Western governments they continue to be mesmerized by Western attire and Western mannerisms that outwardly hide a dark past of crimes against humanity. It is these individuals who are bestowed with foreign assignments because they are ever willing to  betray their own nations to function as colonial servants abandoning the futures of their nation and their fellow citizens.


The West is guilty of carrying out cold-blooded killings of foreign leaders and funding international media campaigns ridiculing and humiliating nations. Myanmar’s protests are described as “saffron-robed revolution”, its leaders ridiculed because they prefer not to strike deals with double-crossing Western diplomats, they are slapped with sanctions because they refuse international monetary systems. Every country that says “no” to the west and asserts national sovereign rights enters the West’s list of “repressive governments” and “dictators”. The West backed by Saudi oil wealth is engaged in a diabolical game of de-constructing nations and using ‘human rights’ as a pretext to intervene  under the Responsibility to Protect formula, in clear violation of national sovereignty. Are we now digressing back to the colonial era?


The scale of current crimes committed wholesale by the West include use of banned chemicals (Depleted Uranium), intentional aerial strikes on civilian infrastructure, drone attacks that kill civilians, challenge to Westphalian sovereign status of nations, sanctions that have killed millions of children and civilians. So long as these crimes are ignored there is no meaning to accountability, and respect for international law will continue to plummet in third world countries due to its perceived lack of neutrality.

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