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The Peacock's Children

This is a riveting history of the Burmese people's struggle for independence from colonialism and freedom under a repressive junta. The author records the struggle for independence and democracy in Burma from the final fall of the monarchy to the early years of the 21st century. The author's research is deep and thorough. Many years were spent in the British Library Indian and Oriental Collection in London collecting and collating valuable material concerning the British colonial period and its response to nationalist protest and a strengthening independence movement. Postcolonial material is equally well researched and complemented by extensive interviews in Burma itself, as well as among exiles and scholars in Thailand and Australia. The account is at times a harrowing one, underscoring the repeatedly dashed hopes for freedom, and the confusion and contradictions amongst Burmese themselves as to the right path to be followed to achieve true independence. In the Epilogue, the author examines the years from 2000 to the present day. Regrettably, little has changed: for Burma democracy seems as far away as ever.
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About the Author

Reverend Dr. Paul Webb is a history and politics academic at the Northern Territory University in Darwin, specializing in SE Asia, concentrating on eastern Indonesia-until the day in 1991 when he crossed into Burma to visit some Burmese students who had fled from the 1988 insurrection. From that moment he was drawn into the history of Burma and into documenting the struggles of those fighting against the brutal dictatorship of the current military regime. Dr. Webb has been instrumental in resettling leading members of the All Burma Student's Democratic Front (ABSDF) in Australia, where they are now citizens, and he continues to assist Burmese refugees in Darwin as president of the Australia-Burma Friendship Association.

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