Independence came last week to Burma and its 15 million people.
Thousands of Burmans caroused amiably along Rangoon's steamy, tropical waterfront. Some still recalled the day in 1885 when Burma's last king, brash Thibaw, sailed into exile and the British took over. Now, British rule was at an end.
Atop gloomy Government House, where the Union Jack had flown for 62 years, the new red-white-&-blue Burmese flag fluttered. Sir Hubert Rance, Britain's last governor of Burma, emerged from the building, drove to the pier. He boarded the hulking British cruiser H.M.S. Birmingham and, like Thibaw, sailed from Burma's shores.
State musicians in classical...