To What Extent Was the Process of Decolonization in Southeast Asia a Violent Struggle?

Topics: Southeast Asia, Philippines, Asia Pages: 4 (1326 words) Published: June 18, 2013
To what extent was the process of decolonization in Southeast Asia a violent struggle? The process of decolonization in Southeast Asia was not totally a violent struggle due to the divers natures of the process of decolonization and the fight for independence in the various Southeast Asian nations. Furthermore, although the struggle for the withdrawal of the colonial masters was lined with bloodshed and violence, there were still moments in which peaceful negotiations managed to take place, rendering the process of decolonization in Southeast Asia a largely violent struggle as one cannot say that it was totally violent due to the differing situations that occurred in the different Southeast Asian nations during the process of decolonization. Firstly, the process of decolonization in Southeast Asia was a violent struggle as nations had to contend with the emergent wave of communism that was sweeping across Southeast Asia. During the process of decolonization and independence, the countries had to fend off the communists(be it the governments or the colonial masters) in order for the colonialists to be willing to withdraw from the country as they were extremely wary of communism especially due to the cold war and the rise of communist Russia. As such, the fight against the communists led to much bloodshed and violence in Southeast Asia. This can be seen in Indonesia during the Madiun affair of September 1948 where the PKI launched a coup to try and oust Sukarno’s government. However, the government sent the army to harshly crack down on the communist using measures to contain them, maintaining their position in the country. With such strong anti-communist sentiments in the government, the USA used the Marshall plan to convince the Dutch to withdraw from Indonesia and grant them independence. Next, in Malaya, the communist emergency of June 1948 also helped the British remove a potent threat and in turn helped to guide Malaya toward independence. The communist...
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