The fourth of January 1958 was significant in Burma for two reasons; it marked the tenth anniversary of the nation's independence and it also denoted the end of the constitutional limitation on the right of a state to secede from the Union. While the anniversary of independence caused rejoicing throughout the country, the right of secession caused many of the leaders to worry and wonder whether or not this date would become significant as the beginning of the breakup of the Union. Since the right of secession is a unique right, not found in any other modern federal constitution save that of the U.S.S.R., it is useful to examine the background and the contemporary situation in order to see what opportunities there are for a state to secede from the Union of Burma, and what limitations exist to keep it from exercising its right.
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