HC Deb 19 May 1931 vol 252 cc1777-8
67. Mr. O. LEWIS

asked the Secretary of State for India if he has any further statement to make with regard to the rebellion in Burma?

Mr. WILLIAM WHITELEY (Lord of the Treasury)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend is circulating a statement covering the events of last week.

Following is the statement:

Situation in Burma for week ending 17th May, 1931.

In the Tharawaddy and Insein Districts the most important event in the past week was the discovery of four rebel camps in the jungles in the Insein District, probably the headquarters of Tharawaddy and Insein rebels. The camps were stormed by the 2/15th Punjabis on 13th May, and heavy casualties are reported to have been suffered by the rebels, who fled. The camps were destroyed and large quantities of ammunition, food and important documents captured. On the Government side the casualties were one sepoy dangerously and one policeman slightly wounded. The effect of this success may be far reaching. Elsewhere sporadic dacoities continue.

In Henzada the position remains much the same. There was one daring raid, probably by rebels from Tharawaddy and Insein Districts, on the police station in Henzada Town which was repulsed with the loss of four killed and three sepoys wounded. In Prome the bodies of Mr. W. H. Austin and the remaining police were found on 12th May and taken to headquarters for burial. The rising has not spread beyond the four villages originally implicated, and the rebels are believed to have fled towards the jungle on the east with the possible intention of attempting to cross the hills into the Toungoo District. They are being followed up.

In Thayetmyo the rebellion is still confined to the extreme south of the district where the rebels were severely defeated on 7th May at Mezali Mindon, 21 being killed, 14 captured and others wounded. There were no Government casualties. Since then the rebels are reported to have retreated southwards and arrangements are being made for Burma Rifles to attack them.

2. The attacks by Burmans on Indians in the Hanthawaddy District have been repressed and the situation is now reported to be under control. The anti-Indian movement which showed signs of spreading to Pyapon has now ceased.

3. Reports of tattooing and projected risings have come in from the Toungoo, Myingyan, Mandalay and Bassein Districts. Prompt action has been taken to round up suspected villagers and it is hoped that the danger has been averted.

4. The monsoon has commenced in Lower Burma where heavy rain is now falling. It is hoped that the situation there will now quieten down, but the economic situation remains very difficult.

5. On the morning of the 17th May, Lieut.-Colonel H. T. Morshcad. D.S.O., Director of the Burma Circle, Survey of India, was shot dead while riding in the jungle in the neighbourhood of Maymyo. It is not yet known whether his death was the result of a deliberate attack.

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