Since the advent of the British power, the immigration of Hindus with a lower standard of comfort and of Chinamen with a keener business instinct has threatened the economic independence of the Burmese in their own country.
There are in addition some pearling grounds in the Mergui Archipelago, which have a very recent history; they were practically unknown before 1890; in the early 'nineties they were worked by Australian adventurers, most of whom have since departed; and now they are leased in blocks to a syndicate of Chinamen, who grant sub-leases to individual adventurers at the rate of £25 a pump for the pearling year.
Here were Hausas from the Niger and the Gold Coast, coloured men from the West India regiments, zaptiehs from Cyprus, Chinamen from Hong Kong, and Dyaks - now civilized into military police - from British North Borneo.
On the 2nd of September 1885 the miners at Rock Springs attacked about 400 Chinamen who had been brought by the railway to work in the mines, killing about fifty of them and driving the remainder from the district.
In 1862 the agitation against the Chinese assumed importance, and the attitude of the miners at Lambing Flat was so threatening that a large force, military and police, was despatched to that goldfield in order to protect the Chinamen from ill-treatment by the miners.