Tuesday, 10 April 2012
British Prime Minister Re-opens Links With Burma.
This week the British prime minister is visiting Myanmar, the first Western leader to do so for many years since the imposition of military rule there. Mr. Cameron visits the country, more commonly known as Burma, following successfully carried out elections there. But British historical links with Burma are very old, the first Englishman to visit the country was Ralph Fitch, a prospector, who travelled there in 1586. The East India Company made contact in 1617 and opened trading depots there along with the Dutch. On 5 March 1824 Britain declared war on the Burmese after General Badula invaded Cachar, a British protectorate, and threatened the frontier of Sylhet. The First Burmese War lasted until 1827 and resulted in the annexation by the British of Arakan and Tenasserim to Bengal in February 1826. The Second Burmese War began in 1852 when the Burmese arrested the captains of two British merchant ships and resulted in the British annexation of Pegu. In 1885, the Burmese king attempted to negotiate with the French and imposed cash penalties on British timber firms; as a result the Third Burmese war began and a force under General Sir Harry Prendergast took the Burmese capital, Mandalay, and with the fall of The Kingdom of Ava, the British annexed the whole of Burma incorporating it in the Indian Empire on 1 January 1886. Indian stamps were used in Burma until 1 April 1937 which is when the country was transferred to direct British rule. The first definitive series consisted of the contemporary stamps of India which depicted King George V, who had died the year before, all overprinted "BURMA" in black. Values ranged from the small sized stamps 3ps to 12as and 1R to 25Rs in the large designs, the three highest values being depicted below.