- Postcolonial Literatures; Globalization Studies; Neo-primitivism; Continental Philosophy; History of a Chinese Community Leader in Rangoon.
- Postcolonialism; Cultural Studies; Neo-primitivism.
A Leader of the Chinese Community in Yangon, Myanmar: Li Boon Tin (1892-1961)
One of the personalities listed in Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary (edited by Leo Suryadinata) is Li Boon Tin (1892-1961), a prominent figure in the Chinese community in Yangon, Myanmar. During World War Two and the years immediately following, Li played an important role in Yangon’s Chinese community as a political leader, businessman, and philanthropist. He is reported to have helped General Aung San (Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, also commonly regarded as the “Father of Burmese Independence”) escape from the British colonial authorities by smuggling him and his companion out of Yangon on the Norwegian ship Hai Lee which Li’s trading company often used to transport rice and other agricultural goods to various ports in Malaya and China. Li’s motive for helping Aung San and the rather vague accounts surrounding Aung San’s clandestine departure from Yangon require further clarification. I would like to look further into this chapter of Li’s life and his subsequent leadership role in Yangon’s Chinese community after the War.