The Left Wing in Southeast Asia

The Left Wing in Southeast Asia

The Left Wing in Southeast Asia

The Left Wing in Southeast Asia

Excerpt

Documentation for a study of left-wing movements in southeast Asia suffers from a lack of unbiased sources. Indeed, little has been written on the subject at all. In part this is traceable to the very nature of communism, and in part to the fact that, except for brief interludes, Communist parties in the area have been illicit organizations. Personal contacts with communists in southeast Asia were not very fruitful as to information concerning their strength and programs. During a six-month journey in southeast Asia in 1947 the writers conscientiously tried to interview all communist leaders who would consent to talk with them. Although at that time the Communist parties were not proscribed, only a few of their leaders granted interviews, and none of them was informative.

In consequence, much of the factual material used in the following chapters has been based perforce on what is virtually the only printed information on the subject -- newspaper reporting and, in some cases, the police records of the colonial powers in southeast Asia. Specifically, we are indebted in large part for data in the chapter on Vietnam to Le Parti Communiste Indochinois, written by members of the French Sûreté and published at Hanoi in 1934; for those on Indonesia, to Le Communisme aux Indes Néerlandaises (Paris, 1929), a translation of a study by the Dutch official, J. T. P. Blumberger; and for those on Malaya, to excerpts from the work of a former police officer of the Straits Settlements . . .

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