Celebration of Soviet National Day November 7, 1953

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November 17, 2016
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April 4, 2000
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November 12, 1953
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FROM ro REF asst' UNGOON ACTION '? 1 d For Dept. N jT Use Only RECD ! F OTHER O FOREIGN SERVICE.DESPATCFI Celebration of Sovi .2000309 -- DP65- rwlAm~wAr3 1953 National Day November ?.. 1953 SUM =t Attendance by government officials at the celebration of Soviet National Days, November 7,, was so sparse as to constitute a definite snub. No National Day of any country, however large or small has been treated in so cavalier a per in Butna since Independence. The reception was also characterized by attendance of large numbers l of Communists and Communist-fronterss, including well- known figures whose presen+ was, in itself s, sufficient to disccurr ge attendance by many members of the goverr nt, Attitudes and incidents observed justify interpre- tation of the Burmese goverment ra handling of this reception as further evidence that Burmese "neutralism" i indeed relative,. and that Burma is not so neutral as to brook such interference in her internal affairs by a foreign power as that evidenced by the intimacy c the Russian Embassy with the BWPP and C*mmis front leaders d,nce State Dept. (declassification instructions on file A,ter Russian barge d'Affai*es DYUKMV told U EM W , Protocol Officer of the Foreign Offices that one thsand invitations had been extended to attend the celebration at the Strand H+tel on November 7, It is safe to say that at no time were there more than five h i i people present at the celebrations, so that, allowing for early departur s, there may have been approximately fifty-five percent attendance. This is nanteithe very goods, nor really very bad for a reception of this The most interesting government members and whose attendance was die Cabinet present.. Sao S: next ranking government of U Rhin )kung about the oth omenon was the almost complete . lack of high Burmese - servants Sao HON HBO, the Foreign Ministers, tocol., was literally the only member of the 4 Speaker of the Hbwe of Nationalities, was the al at the reaceptiion An officer of the Embassy asked members of the Cabinet by name and when U (bin mEuned the belief that they were not there, asked his why, U Mdn Maung did not ax swers but when it _ suggested that it might be because the government officials KODAW 1 &ING (above ground Ces f et leaders), all of wham were present, he Inughed gaily in such a wary as to imply that the Embassy officer had hit the nail on the head. When asked mhather he had spoken to a rq of the aforementioned gentle- men himself, U Xhn Maung answered that he had been ordered to attend this party and make his presence known to the Russian Charge dtAffaires. He said that once hi had ~r~ced For ReI ,?F DP65-00756R000600040007-5 PS-, 00nc p-~~Af}40007 -5 . a_ esp. No. From____..... done that he considered his duty accomplished. Be said his only object from that time forward was to have a good tuna. and this did not include talking to fists. He said that U TUN SHEIN, Permanent Secret to who had also been ordered to be present viewed the ~' of the Foreign Office., He called attention to the fact thatsthere were no justices of the Supreme Court ?resent, and that U MAUNG PYU,, Chief Secretary of the Government., had also stayed away, although requested to attend. His Lordship, the Mayor of Rangoon was there but found himself almost completely isolated from the Communists and Col munist-front groups who formed more than half of the crowd., because of the fact that he had been required by the AFPFL to lead the sober TUC(B) celebration of the Great October Revolution which was held in competition with the rabble rousing (Io ramie-front BTUC celebration. Apparently, his past kindnesses in throwing open the City Hall to "peace* rallies and Chinese Communist celebrations were not enough to offset this. The presence of the Chinese Ambassador* who had returned to Rangoon the preceding day without fanfare, was a feature of the reception and the fact he had not notified his colleagues of his return m 4y have contributed to the early departure or several diplomats who did not wait for the toast. Among these was I,mabassador tultanuddin AM ED of Pakistan who had been acting Dean in the absence of the Chinese Ambassador'. At the moment of the toast, the only Ambassador in attendance teas the Chinese Ambassador. According to U MIAT SCE f Sayeh State Secretary, the large and rather unruly gathering of gaungbaungglese individuals included the directorates of the Commie- front group$ and Communist cells from all sections of Rangoon., including the University. 1' A Chinese Communist women's group was also represented.: The Toast The Foreign Ministers face shoved positive distaste as he stood at the side of Dyukarev,waiting for silence to propose the toast. When it became clear that the Communists and Canon njst_fro ters hollered into the were not going to be still, he literally microphone that he took pleasure in offering a toast to wHis Excellency the President of the Presidium of the USSR". enunciatin the entire country (He used the initials, not g try nsmae a Ise view of the Foreign Minister's sensitivity to protocol this is a significant Indication of his attitude.) The gathering was then re;aled with a recording of the "Rod Flag" which was played three times in full. After DrAarsv proposed a toast to the President of Burma a snatch, , little hardy ten seconds long, of the tail end of the Burmese national anthem was Played. U Mdn M said to the reporting officer at this point, "It is asy to see which is he bigger countryo" * There 12 An or w L'4u"g1'nummese headdress, to become a badge of respectabili and ~sur~ ~. port of is government. Local Companies do not Iwear gaungbaungs except when apPearijg in Parliament as members of the BWWP Approved For R tDP65-00756R000600040007-5 RDP65 1756ROO 660040007-5 Desp. No.._ From e British Embassy down to he least Third Seer+etary had been invited,, i;ncludi r flat representatives of the B to Council.. This appears to be in line with the t rent Russian attempt to a wedge between Great Britain and the United -To States by implytng that the tish are more friendly to the Russians than is the United States,. Mr. Onal did not say how many" officers had been invited; it is estimated that the der was around twenty,,, in contrast to the seven who were invited from the Bmeri n: Embassy. The Y=sue In somewhat bad tastep he iugoslav Charges, Mr. SD IC, attended the recep- tion apparently with the intention of making remkse of questionable taste concerning the large der of *unwashed* who were present. The reporting officer did not speak to Stvic, but heard but this from two different British individuals who were them. Co Chile this Embassy has for some time been of the opinion that there is an observable trend over the last six years in Ban* in the direction of closer friendship with the Vest and increasing suspicion of Soviet Russia, the overt signs of displeasure mentioned above were surprising,,, particularly the boy- cotting of the reception by the high Cabinet officers and the Justices of the Supreme Court. It is belieeveed, hover, that it would be possible to attach too much significance to this and that the reason for the absences is to found in the fact that the Burmese goverment had knowledge of the invitations which had been sent to MWP leaders a reception old in fact appear to be an additional bit of evidence that the Russians and Chinese in Burma have done themselves much more ]arm than good by msnintai ng close relations with local Communist and Comm unist$rornt groups which are definitely,, and overtly,, working against the Burmese government. What is of extreme Interest is the fact,, brought out by this reception,, that the attitude of neutrality which Burmese foreign policy requires in salt all contact with official represen- tation of foreign countries,, has its limits, and that the Burmese government feels that the Communists have presumed too far in their attempt to use this neutrality for their own. ends Action requested:Pleaee send copies of this Despatch to Bangkok,, New Delhi s, Karachi,, Djakarta,,, Singapore,, Taipei and Moscow. Albert B i Franklin First Secretary of Embassy Approved For Re -RDP65-00756R000600040007-5