of the South-East Asian Countries!

Early in 1948, Burma (now Myanmar) on 4 January and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 4 February, became independent.

Malaya, which had been reoccupied by the British troops in 1945 after the defeat of Japan, became independent in 1957.

In 1963 she, along with Sabah (formerly north Borneo), Sarawak and Singapore formed the Malaysian Federation.


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However, in 1965, Singapore declared herself a separate independent state. In Indonesia, soon after the surrender of Japan, the Republic of Indonesia had been proclaimed by the nationalists. However, the Dutch, supported by British troops, came back to re-establish their rule and a war followed. The war ended in 1949 and on 27 December that year, Indonesia became independent.

The war in Vietnam, which ended in the defeat of France and the US. It ended on 30 April 1975 when Saigon, the capital of the US-sponsored regime in South Vietnam, was liberated. In 1976 Vietnam was united. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh city, after the great leader of the Vietnamese people who had launched the freedom movement in Vietnam and had led it till his death in 1969.

Laos, one of the three countries comprising Indo-China, had proclaimed her independence in 1945. However, first French and later US intervention in Laos continued. The US intervention in Laos was ended in 1973. In Cambodia, the third country of Indo-China, also, the French returned after the defeat of Japan. The French finally left in 1953 and Cambodia became independent. In 1970, the US installed a puppet government there and the US war in Vietnam was extended to Cambodia.


The pro-US government was overthrown in 1975. However, a barbarous government came to power in Cambodia. This government was formed by Khmer Rouge, a communist group of Cambodia. It was headed by Pol Pot.

It followed a policy of genocide against its own people. It is estimated that between one to three million Cambodians were killed by this government. This barbarous government was overthrown with the help of Vietnamese troops in 1979.

The conflict in Cambodia continued for many years. There were three main political groups—the Khmer Rouge, the group led by Prince Sihanouk whose government had been overthrown in 1970 with US support, and the group which formed the government after Pol Pot’s government was overthrown with the help of Vietnamese troops.

The Khmer Rouge had continued the war against the Vietnamese-supported government from the territories it controlled inside the country, and from across the border. In 1989, the Vietnamese troops were withdrawn from Cambodia.


In 1991, the three opposing groups were brought together and an agreement was signed under the auspices of the United Nations. In 1993, elections were held in Cambodia and a coalition government was formed. The Khmer

Rouge, however, refused to join the government and continued its policy of war. Its war activities did not last very long. Most of its leaders were captured and tried for the crimes they have committed against their worn people.