On This Day

The Day Myanmar’s Independence From Britain Was Agreed

By Wei Yan Aung 17 October 2019

YANGON—On this day 72 years ago, the Nu-Attlee Agreement, a treaty between the government of the United Kingdom and the provisional government of Myanmar laying out the terms by which the country would become independent from Britain was finalized and signed in London.

According to Prime Minister U Nu’s autobiographical novel “The Saturday-Born” and historical books on Myanmar’s colonial period published by the Department of Myanmar Historical Research, the agreement was signed on Oct. 17. However, some other records say the agreement was signed on Oct. 1.

The agreement signed by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Myanmar Prime Minister U Nu comprised 15 articles relating to, among other things, the establishment of diplomatic ties, citizenship, defense, maritime trade and the rebuilding of Myanmar.

Myanmar regained independence from the British two months after signing the agreement. However, the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) led by Thakhin Than Tun bitterly denounced the Nu-Attlee Agreement, calling it “sham independence”. The CPB then went underground, leading to the outbreak of civil war in the country.