The 1948 Government of Burma Was Genuinely Multi-Ethnic
people U Nu President Sao Shwe Theik General Smith Dun
August 1948: With communist ("White Flag" and "Red Flag") PVO, and "Mujahideen" insurrections in full swing, President Sao Shwe Thaik and Army Chief General Smith Dun inspect the troops in front of the Rangoon Corporation building. Martial law had just been declared. At the time, Karen, Kachin, and Chin battalions were fighting Burmese communist and PVO militias up and down the Irrawaddy valley. It was also a time (the only time) when the government of Burma was genuinely multi-ethnic, with a Shan president, a Burman Prime Minister (U Nu), and a Karen Army Chief of Staff, the Sandhurst-educated General Smith Dun, who would soon be replaced by his deputy, Major-General Ne Win.