Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture

By John S. Bowman | Go to book overview
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APPENDIX 1
National/Independence Days

BANGLADESH

March 26: Independence Day. On this date in 1971, a group of Bengali nationalists made a radio broadcast calling for East Pakistan to become independent from Pakistan. On April 17, leaders of the breakaway East Pakistan openly and more formally declared independence as Bangladesh. After the war that ensued, the West Pakistan army was forced to surrender to the forces of India on December 16, 1971, and this day is observed in Bangladesh as Victory (or National) Day. East Pakistan thus became Bangladesh, although Pakistan did not formally recognize this status until February 22, 1974.


BHUTAN

December 17: National Day. On this date in 1907, the powerful warlord Ugyen Wangchuk declared himself first king of Bhutan. Although technically an independent land for all of its history, Bhutan had in fact long been under the rule of Tibet and then to some degree under China. By the nineteenth century, Great Britain, through its governance of India, had also begun to take control of Bhutan's affairs, and Britain continued to exercise considerable control over Bhutan's affairs even after Wangchuk's declaration. Finally on August 2, 1935, Britain gave Bhutan autonomy from British India's princely states. On August 8, 1949, India began to assume responsibility for Bhutan's foreign affairs, defense, and economy.

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