Eu y ei
central intelligence agency
WAtHINOTON. D. C. OFFICB OT THI DEPUTY DIRECTOR (INTKLLIO(NCI)
DEPART&rKr CP STLiZ
OF NATIONAL ESTIMATES
5 December IS63
STAFF. (internal OHS Wbrklsg Paper
CIA Distribution Only)
SUBJECT: The Situation til Burma
Major Internal Problc.7g.
chief problems facing
Ne Win government are Internalhe continuance offactionalism and the various Communist and ethnic Paradoxically, factional strife has been aggravated by tbe government's offer. In Juneto negotiate ettlements with all Insurgent groups. Exceptingle Karen faction, all such peace efforts have failed. However, negotiations with the White Flag insurgents of the Burma Coemunlst Party (BCP) did cake sufficient progress to alarm leaders of the relatively moderate political opposition, the Anti-Faeetst Peoples'League and the Union Party. They became extremely vocal In opposing negotiations with the White Flags and used the occasion to renew criticism of Communist influence In the governoent and
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He Win's progTBa of socialist revolution. Ia July and August, they wont eo far as to calleturn to parliamentary rule. In effect the overthrow of the government, and thereby forced No Win's hand. Mass arrest of top opposition leaders followed and apparently nipped in tbe bud what the governmentotential threat. Recently,la the wake of the breakdown In government talks with the White Flags, many of thesehave bean released and their followers nave seeminglyonciliatory attitude toward Ne Win. However, the moderates reoaln basically opposed to him sod his policies.
2. Another potential danger for the Ne Win government ltesossible alliance of the opposition political parties with Buddhist monks, who also are opposed to the Re Win reglce. Opposition of the Buddhist clergy to alleged governmentincreased during the spring of Sumner brought open attacks by Buddhist spokesmen against government policy In general. In contrast to the swift action taken against opposition political leaders, the Buddhists have been placed under no restraint by the goverecent. It seems likely that Be Win will cake every effort to continue toirect ccofrontatlon with the Buddhist ejeiwy taemismj of tb* aJwivc gmhlla reaction which would follow.
However, Re Win almost ce: balnly fears the mobilizing effect that unbridled Buddhist criticism could have on other disgruntled elements, such as students, and nay act forcefully against tbe Buddhists If certain Units are exceeded.
3. Tbe willingness of the White Flag ConnunlstEseriously with the government is probably
to the influence of some twenty members of the BCP whoBurma In July and August after ten years of self-exile
training in Coraunist China. He Win clearly welcomed
assist from Pelplng in bringing these Insurgents to the ncgo-
Mating table; although the military potential of tbe White Flags la negligible, elimination of this Insurgent group would end an expensive and Irritating nuisance in the heart of ethnic
k. After months of negotiation, Be Win broke off
with the White Flags and jailedvert Communist
and assorted other politicians. Be has also moved to
the pro-Connunlst student leadership at major universities. Be
has not attempted, at least as yet, to capture any of the
ground hard-core of Communists, or to renew military
against the Ccaaaunlst insurgents. However, hla actions have already immobilized the remnant overt Ccnnrunlst forcesew, hardhitting, antt-Coorunlat propaganda campaign is discouraging their public supporters. Military operations against the White Flags will probably also be renewed. This setback to themay not be permanent. It is possible that, in time, Ne
Win will release many of the recently jailed political
end resume negotiations for some compromise on his own
Alcoet sny negotiated settlement, however, would
the pro-Communist left by removing Its stigma of
while Infusing Its ranks with several hundred
and the Pelping-trslned
5. The termination of negotiations with theis almostesult of Ne Win's beliefCctnmunlets and their allies in the pro-CcnmunlstFront (NUF) had begun to use the peace talks ae
propaganda platform to Improve their political position at
expense. Ne Win's action also placated many military careerists
who have long been extremely critical of any negotiations with
the White Flags, one of the Burmese Army's most persistent
surgent enemies. His action was also welcomed by minority
ethnic elements in the Bczs.ue Army, who Laveseep-seated distrust of government favoritism shown Burman insurgents such ss the White Flags, as contrasted with the treatment of dissident Kachins, Shane, and Karens.
6. Another threat to political stability in Burma Is the continuing shift toward radical and Ineffectual socialization of the economy. The new Finance Act hss provided the heaviest blow yet to the already hard-pressed private sector of the economy. There is widespread dissatisfaction among businessmen, and unemployment has increaeed as aany private firms haveeries of economic reorganizations hae extended the government control over foreign trade and the distribution of consumer goods; these developments bave been marked by the placing of doctrinaire Marxists in key economic positions. ind of people's court established In September may be Interpretedovernment warning to civil servants and businessmen who tend to oppose the policies of the sociall.it revolution. We can expect this trend toward Increased authoritarianism andInvolvement in economic management to continue.
7- External Factors. Over the past year or so the BCP has come under strong Feiplng Influence end existing Soviet
Influence hue been greatly reduced. Confronted withhite Flag settlementegalized pro-Chinese BCP,R has countered by intensifying efforts to dominate the RUF and its principal component, the United Workers Party of
Burma- Communists affiliated with these organizations
the bulk of those Communists recently rounded up by Be Win,
out evident Soviet protest*. It is probable that Slno-Sovlet
rivalry will continue for the allegiance of Burma's Communists
well as for Be Win's favor. Be Win probably considers continued Soviet Interest In Burma's CoHSunlste advantageous to hi* efforts
to contain Chinese Influence In
8. Peiplog's Involvement Inla's negotiations withFlags hasew dimension to Its continuing weightaffairs. Despite the failure to achieve aChinese role has probably conveyed an Image of
to Be Win. Moreover, Pelplng's prestige Is not so strongly
mltted nort* Involvement so direct that renewed Whitewill significantly barm Ccnmunlst China'sthe Burmese
9- In recent montha. Pelping has carried out extensivebudding in those areas ceded by Burma to China la
oundary settlement. It hza also ccanitted Its troops elcevcere along tbe Burma border to Increaaed road construction activity. There are reports that the Chinese have augmented
these border forces by aa much as one army, but we have no
flraatloo of such reports at present. There are also reports
similarly unconfirmedthat3 several hundred Chinese
troops crossed Burma's northern tip for purposes of military
ccnnalsaance In Burma and adjacentg
10. Conclusions. Despite bod the of growing unrest
out tho.country end open opposition from diverse political
and Buddhist zonks, General Se Win continues effectively to dcn-
lnate Bursa. The non-Cocznunlst political opposition
fragmented and Its principal leaders In confinement. Selective purging of tbe officer corps haa removed many potential opponents
from positions of responsibility aad within the core of his
Junta, loyalty to No Win appears unshaken. The breaking off of
negotiations with the White nag Insurgents and subsequenton extreme leftists has quieted the misgivings ofofficers. It has also made clear that Ne Win
plates accepting no Increase In the Influence of domestic Communists.
There, are, hove- ^r, cany sources of politicalin Burma. The ever-Increasing concentration of power In the hands of Nc Winew associates has tended to hinder the efficient operation of the government and the economy. Ne Win's authoritarianism has also alienated an increasing number of polltically-coneclous Burmese and added to the existing The disorganized economic situation is slowly turning the sasses against the regime, tccestlc Ccrmninlets snd pro-Corcuolatsotent political force both outside the government and within Its administrative ranks. In recent months, Chinese Communist Influence has bolstered local Comcaalsts undew element of danger to the Internal political situation.
Chinese Communist military activity along the border, although nothreat to Burma, has Increased the in-tlaldatlng effect of Chinese proximity to Burmese soli. It Is possible that Chinese Communist forces will become available for joint operations with Burmese forces againct ethnic Insurgents or, as In tbe past, against remnsnt Chinese Nationalist forces. In the near term, however, we see no real threat to Ne Win'sof Burma ond no likelihood of Chinese Communist high pressure tactics upon him, either for domestic Communist political gain or for Petplng's own account In Southeast Asia.Original document.