Burma celebrates its 55th.Independence Day on January 4th. But there is little to celebrate for the 50 million people who held great hope when it gained independence from Britain in 1948. After enjoying civil liberties under parliamentary democracy for 14 years the military took control of the country and suspending the constitution in 1962.
For many Burmese that independence become meaningless as dissidents are jailed, students activists are tortured and tens of thousands fled to neighboring countries to escape military's harsh rule.
Historian Dr. Aung Khin who resides in London said Burma gained independence through dialogue with Britain. U Khun Htun Oo of United Nationalities Alliance, Rangoon said political stalemate must be solved by political means and freedom for Burmese people is long overdue.
Dr. Aye Kyaw, a historian at New York University said Burma lagged behind backwaters of other Southeast Asian countries in education, economic and social development due to military rule.