Burma: Deteriorating Situation

During Burma's first decade of independence, the nation's undisputed leader was affable, ascetic Premier U Nu, a sometime Buddhist monk who sought through his politics "to merit admission to the higher abode of nirvana." But U Nu was a lackluster administrator, and by 1958 Burma's rice-rich economy was on the brink of ruin and domestic Communists were gaining strength. Willingly, Socialist U Nu turned over power to a military caretaker regime headed by General Ne Win, who restored efficient government, defeated Communist guerrilla bands. After 15 months in office he held elections that promptly returned U Nu...

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