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Asiatic Unity

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In his broadcast from All-India Radio, Delhi, on Sunday night, U Aung San urged Asiatic unity and solidarity.

He said: "Apart from her historic and economic solidarity Asia is one, inspite of diversity on the surface and the colour of the people".

The Burmese leader expressed regret that he was unable to stay longer in India. He said that one of the aims of his visit was to meet Indian nationalist leaders and to see how the machinery of the present Indian Interim Government was working.

Earlier, U Aung San forecast a constitutional crisis in Burma if the Burmese leaders' demands were not conceded and the Burma question was unsettled by January 31.

"When I go to London, I must get a settlement. Otherwise, we come to a deadlock before January 31," he told a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday.

U Aung San said: "There is no question of Dominion Status for Burma. We want complete independence."

He added that the elections in Burma in April should lead to the formation of a Constituent Assembly without "Intermediate stages and the present Government in Burma must be turned into an Interim Government at once."

Asked if he would demand the withdrawal of British troops from Burma, U Aung San replied: "I do not think we will," adding, "Most of British troops in Burma happen to be Indian troops."

To a question, "Can there be free elections in Burma so long as foreign troops remain there?" U Aung San said, "We do not like the presence of foreign troops, but we have yet to know by experience that foreign troops' presence will stand in the way of free elections in the country."

Indian Troops in Burma

The Burmese leader declared that he hade discussed the question of the withdrawal of Indian troops from Burma with the Vice-President of the Indian Interim Government Pandit Nehru, the Defence Member in the Government, Sardar Baldev Singh, and the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Claude Auchinleck, adding, "We have not come to any conclusion yet."

U Aung San agreed that, pending the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Burma, he would demand that the Government of Burma should assume complete control of these troops while on Burmese soil.

He said that the position of the Burmese Executive Councillors was "funny". He added: "I am Defence Councillor to the Governor, who has himself no control over the armed forces. These forces come under the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Land forces in South-East Asia. Similarly, I am Councillor in Charge of External Affairs, but External Affairs are controlled by the Burma Office in London."

Defining the attitude of his party to "excluded and partially excluded areas" of Burma regarding Burma's future constitution, he said, "We do not want to impose my settlement on the peoples of the frontier areas. We offer them the option of joining with a great deal of autonomy. That is the policy of the Burmese Government. But the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League is prepared to go further. If these people in the frontier areas like to exercise a full right of self-determination, they can do so."

"I have been to some parts of the frontier areas myself," he said, "and met some of their leaders, and I can say that the much-boosted propaganda about the loyalty of these frontier peoples to the British Government is not true. If this time there is a struggle for independence in Burma, I shall not be surprised if there is a wide and deep stir among these people."

"No inhibitions"

Asked if another struggled became necessary in Burma, would it be violent or non-violent or both, U Aung San replied with a hearty laugh, "We have no inhibitions of any kind in Burma."

To a question whether he would like an interim cabinet for Burma on the Indian model, he replied amidst laughter, "After coming to India, I hesitate to say on the Indian model."

A correspondent who asked whether he would consider active help for Viet Nam was told, "We would like to help Viet Nam but charity begins at home."

To an Indian correspondent's question, "Do you apprehend that your delegation may not meet with the success you want?" he replied with emphasis, "I hope for the best but I am prepared for the worst."

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