Stevenson, Henry Noel Cochrane


Stevenson, Henry Noel Cochrane
   British colonial official who advocated establishment of a political/administrative unit consisting of the peoples of the Frontier Areas separate from an independent Burma. At the beginning of World War II, Stevenson was superintendent of the Chin Hills, and he organized and commanded the Chin Levies to fight the Japanese. In 1943, he published The Economics of the Central Chin Tribes. At war's end, he was appointed director of the Frontier Areas Administration by the governor, Reginald Dorman-Smith, and made his United Frontier Union proposal, which, if adopted, would have created a jurisdiction within the British Commonwealth for the "hill tribes." Excoriated by the AntiFascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL) for promoting "divide and rule," his proposal was rejected by the Labour government of Clement Attlee.
   Although responsive to the demands of the AFPFL and Aung San, the Attlee government was ignorant of or indifferent to the sentiments of the ethnic minority peoples, though they had loyally supported Britain during the war. Against a background of five-and-a-half decades of ethnic insurgency and civil war, Stevenson's repeated warnings on the need for London to promote the economic and social development of the Frontier Areas and to recognize their aspirations was highly prescient.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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