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Soe, Thakin (1906–1989)

Andrew J. Waskey

Subject Economic Systems » Socialist Systems
History » Political History

Place Asia » Southern Asia

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, communism, democracy, party politics, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01380.x


U Thakin Soe was a Burmese Communist Party leader who helped to found the Burmese Communist Party in 1937. A pro-Russian communist, he strictly followed the Moscow policy of absolutely no cooperation with the Japanese, organizing in 1943 a guerilla resistance movement and establishing his headquarters in the Irawadi Delta in the Pyapon District. When the Burmese leader U Ba Pe denounced all totalitarian governments, including the Soviet Union, Soe denounced him as a tool of the imperialists. The ensuing controversy threatened to fracture the national unity front, forcing other communist leaders to attack Soe. They demanded that he substantiate his charges or face party discipline. He refused to accept criticism and instead accused his opponents of being collaborationist with capitalists. His attempts to take control of the politburo and party secretariat led to his being expelled from the party, so he formed his own splinter group called the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). In July of 1947 U Aung Sang , a Thakin leader, was assassinated and replaced by U Nu , who became the premier of the government when Burma gained its independence on January 4, 1948. On March 30, 1948, Thakin Soe's communists attacked the socialist government of U Nu but were forced to return to the jungle. On November 17, 1970, Soe's capture by government forces was announced by the Burmese government. He was ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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