The term Southeast Asia is of recent origin. It became popular during World War II, when the territories south of the Tropic of Cancer were placed under Lord Louis Mountbatten’s Southeast Asia command. The command included Sri Lanka, and at least one study covers that island country along with Southeast Asia because of “similar” experience with Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonialism and because it is “closely related to the Malay Archipelago.” 1 On the other hand, D. G. E. Hall excluded the Philippines in the first edition of his monumental History of South-East Asia because that country lay outside the region’s mainstream of historical developments. 2 Most scholars presently use the term Southeast Asia to include the geographical areas bounded by the states of Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.