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{{about|the country|the Myanmar language|Burmese language}}{{Redirect|Burma}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use British English|date=September 2018}}{{Use dmy dates|date=November 2018}}{{short description|Republic in Southeast Asia}}

|Pyidaunzu Thanmăda Myăma Nainngandaw}}|image_flag = Flag of Myanmar.svg|image_coat = State seal of Myanmar.svg|symbol_type = State Seal"Kaba Ma Kyei"location_color=green ASEAN >region_color=dark grey |legend=Location Burma (Myanmar) ASEAN.svg}}|image_map2 = Myanmar - Location Map (2013) - MMR - UNOCHA.svg|capital = Naypyidaw (Nay Pyi Taw)19N6type:city}}|largest_city = Yangon (Rangoon)Burmese language>Burmese Kachin language>Kachin Kayah language>Kayah Karen language>Karen Chin language>Chin Mon language>Mon Rakhine language>Rakhine Shan language>Shan}}|languages_type = Official script|languages = Burmese script|ethnic_groups ={{unbulleted listBamar people>BamarShan people>ShanKaren people>KarenRakhine people>RakhineMon people>Mon| 10% others}}0.45em|}}Theravada>Theravāda Buddhism in Myanmar 87.9% Christianity in Myanmar>Christianity 6.2% Islam in Myanmar 4.3%Religion in Myanmar>Other 1.6%THE 2014 MYANMAR POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS- THE UNION REPORT: RELIGION >URL=HTTPS://MYANMAR.UNFPA.ORG/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/PUB-PDF/UNION_2-C_RELIGION_EN_0.PDF PUBLISHER=DEPARTMENT OF POPULATION MINISTRY OF LABOUR, IMMIGRATION AND POPULATION MYANMAR ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20180329011235/HTTP://MYANMAR.UNFPA.ORG/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/PUB-PDF/UNION_2-C_RELIGION_EN_0.PDF URL-STATUS=DEAD, PUBLISHER=MULTICULTURAL HEALTH POLICY UNITARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150411161154/HTTP://WWW.HEALTH.ACT.GOV.AU/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/ACT%20HEALTH%20COMMUNITY%20PROFILE%20-%20BURMA%20%282014%29.PDFURL-STATUS=DEAD, Unitary state>Unitary Parliamentary system republic>constitutional republicPresident of Myanmar>PresidentWin Myint (politician, born 1951)>Win MyintState Counsellor of Myanmar>State Counsellor|leader_name2 = Aung San Suu KyiVice President of Myanmar>1st Vice PresidentMyint Swe (general)>Myint SweVice President of Myanmar>2nd Vice President|leader_name4 = Henry Van Thio|legislature = Assembly of the Union|upper_house = House of NationalitiesHouse of Representatives}}History of Myanmar>Formation|established_event1 = Pagan Kingdom|established_date1 = 23 December 849|established_event2 = Taungoo Dynasty|established_date2 = 16 October 1510|established_event3 = Konbaung Dynasty|established_date3 = 29 February 1752Third Anglo-Burmese War>Annexation by Britain|established_date4 = 1 January 1886Independence}}|established_date5 = 4 January 19481962 Burmese coup d'état>Coup d'état|established_date6 = 2 March 1962President of Myanmar>Restoration of presidency|established_date7 = 30 March 2011|area_km2 = 676,578|area_rank = 39th |area_sq_mi = 261,227 |percent_water = 3.06WEBSITE=WORLDOMETERS.INFO, |population_census_year = 2017|population_census_rank = 25th|population_density_km2 = 76|population_density_sq_mi = |population_density_rank = 125thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=5 MARCH 2019, |GDP_PPP_year = 2018|GDP_PPP_rank = 51st|GDP_PPP_per_capita = $6,797|GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 128th|GDP_nominal = $71.543 billion|GDP_nominal_year = 2018|GDP_nominal_rank = 72nd|GDP_nominal_per_capita = $1,354|GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 155th|Gini = 38.1 |Gini_year = 2015|Gini_change = PUBLISHER=WORLD BANK ACCESS-DATE=5 MARCH 2019, |Gini_rank =|HDI = 0.578 |HDI_year = 2017|HDI_change = increasePUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMEACCESSDATE=15 SEPTEMBER 2018, |HDI_rank = 148thBurmese kyat>Kyat (K)|currency_code = MMKMyanmar Standard Time>MMT|utc_offset = +06:30|drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Myanmar>+95|iso3166code = MM|cctld = .mm|footnote_a =|footnote_b =}}{{contains Burmese text|compact=yes}}Myanmar ({{small|English pronunciation below}}; မြန်မာ {{IPA-my|mjÉ™mà|lang}}),{{refn|group=nb|The final r in Myanmar is not intended for pronunciation but exists to represent the broad ah ({{IPA-cen|ɑː}}) sound of British English.}} officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east and China to its north and northeast. Myanmar is the largest of the mainland Southeast Asian states. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of {{convert|5876|km|mi|abbr=on}} forms an uninterrupted coastline of {{convert|1930|km|abbr=on}} along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.{{citation needed|reason=Said who?|date=June 2019}} The country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people.WEB,weblink Asian Development Bank and Myanmar: Fact Sheet, Asian Development Bank, 30 April 2012, 20 November 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 November 2011, As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is {{convert|676578|km2|mi2|abbr=off}} in size. Its capital city is Naypyidaw (Nay Pyi Taw), and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).WEB,weblink The World Factbook, Burma, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, live,weblink 6 October 2010, Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma.BOOK, Early civilizations of Southeast Asia, Altamira Press, O'Reilly, Dougald JW, 2007, United Kingdom, 978-0-7591-0279-8, In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country. The Pagan Kingdom fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Mainland Southeast Asia.Lieberman, p. 152 The early 19th century Konbaung dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British took over the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence in 1948, as a democratic nation. Following a coup d'état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the Burma Socialist Programme Party.For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country.WEB,weblink Burma, Human Rights Watch, 6 July 2013, WEB,weblink Myanmar Human Rights, Amnesty International USA, 6 July 2013, WEB,weblink World Report 2012: Burma, Human Rights Watch, 6 July 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 June 2013, 22 January 2012, In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, has improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions.NEWS, Madhani, Aamer, Obama administration eases Burma sanctions before visit,weblink USA Today, 16 November 2012, NEWS, Fuller, Thomas, Geitner, Paul, European Union Suspends Most Myanmar Sanctions,weblink The New York Times, 23 April 2012, There is, however, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, and religious clashes.WEB, Greenwood, Faine,weblink The 8 Stages of Genocide Against Burma's Rohingya | UN DispatchUN Dispatch,, 27 May 2013, 13 April 2014, NEWS,weblink EU welcomes "measured" Myanmar response to rioting, Reuters, 11 June 2012, NEWS,weblink Q&A: Communal violence in Burma, BBC, 14 October 2013, In the landmark 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses. However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics.Myanmar is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN and BIMSTEC, but not a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. Myanmar is also endowed with renewable energy; it has the highest solar power potential compared to other countries of the Great Mekong Subregion.Vakulchuk, Roman; Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing; Edward Ziwa Naing; Indra Overland; Beni Suryadi and Sanjayan Velautham (2017). Myanmar’s Attractiveness for Investment in the Energy Sector. A Comparative International Perspective. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) Report. p. 8. In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.7 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.5 billion.WEB,weblink Burma (Myanmar), World Economic Outlook Database, International Monetary Fund, The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government.NEWS,weblink Income Gap 'world's widest', The Nation, 15 September 2014, Eleven Media, 4 September 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 September 2014, NEWS,weblink Income inequality in Burma, Democratic Voice of Burma, 15 September 2014, McCornac, Dennis, 22 October 2013,weblink 15 September 2014, dead, dmy-all, {{As of|2016}}, Myanmar ranks 145 out of 188 countries in human development, according to the Human Development Index.


Both the names Myanmar and Burma derive from the earlier Burmese Myanma, an ethnonym for the majority Bamar ethnic group, of uncertain etymology.BOOK, Burma, Hall, DGE, Pre-Pagan Burma, 1960, 3, 13, The terms are also popularly thought to derive from Brahma Desha after Brahma.BOOK,weblink Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, Houtman, Gustaaf, 1999, ILCAA, 9784872977486, 352, In 1989, the military government officially changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period or earlier, including that of the country itself: Burma became Myanmar. The renaming remains a contested issue.BOOK,weblink Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics, Houtman, Gustaaf, 1999, ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series No. 33, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 43–54, 978-4-87297-748-6, Many political and ethnic opposition groups and countries continue to use Burma because they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government or its authority to rename the country.BOOK, Steinberg, David I., 2002, Burma: The State of Myanmar,weblink Georgetown University Press, xi, 978-1-58901-285-1, In April 2016, soon after taking office, Aung San Suu Kyi said concerning the question of which name should be used that, "it is up to you, because there is nothing in the constitution of our country that says that you must use any term in particular". She continued, "I use Burma very often because I am used to using it. But it does not mean that I require other people to do that as well. And I’ll make an effort to say Myanmar from time to time so you all feel comfortable".South China Morning Post, "What's in a name? Not much, according to Aung San Suu Kyi, who tells diplomats they can use Myanmar or Burma", Saturday, 23 April 2016The country's official full name is the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar" (, {{transl|my|Pyihtaungsu Thamada Myanma Naingngantaw}}, {{IPA-my|pjìdàʊɴzá¹µ θàɴmÉ™daÌ° mjÉ™mà nàɪɴŋàɴdɔ̀|pron}}). Countries that do not officially recognise that name use the long form "Union of Burma" instead.{{r|World Factbook}}WEB,weblink NCGUB, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, 3 May 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 9 September 2015, dead, In English, the country is popularly known as either Burma or Myanmar. Both these names are derived from the name of the majority Burmese Bamar ethnic group. Myanmar is considered to be the literary form of the name of the group, while Burma is derived from "Bamar", the colloquial form of the group's name. Depending on the register used, the pronunciation would be {{transl|my|Bama}} ({{IPA-my|bÉ™mà|pron}}) or {{transl|my|Myamah}} ({{IPA-my|mjÉ™mà|pron}}). The name Burma has been in use in English since the 18th century.Burma continues to be used in English by the government of the United Kingdom.WEB,weblink UK and Burma, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 18 January 2015, Official United States policy retains Burma as the country's name, although the State Department's website lists the country as Burma (Myanmar) and Barack Obama has referred to the country by both names.NEWS, Burma or Myanmar? Obama calls it both on visit,weblink, Associated Press, Asian Correspondent, Hybrid News Limited, Bristol, England, 19 November 2012, 19 November 2012, Yangon, Burma (AP) â€“ Officially at least, America still calls this Southeast Asian nation Burma, the favoured appellation of dissidents and pro-democracy activists who opposed the former military junta's move to summarily change its name 23 years ago., NEWS, Hosting Burma's Leader, Obama Repeatedly Calls the Country 'Myanmar',, 30 July 2013, CNS News, 21 May 2013, WEB,weblink Burma (Myanmar), United States Department of State, 13 April 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2013, The CIA's World Factbook lists the country as Burma {{as of|2019|August|lc=yes}}.{{r|World Factbook}} The government of Canada has in the past used Burma, such as in its 2007 legislation imposing sanctions,WEB,weblink Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations, Government of Canada – Justice Laws Website, 25 June 2018, 15 November 2018, but as of the mid-2010s generally uses Myanmar.WEB, Government of Canada – Global Affairs Canada, 2018-11-15, Canada and Myanmar relations,weblink The Czech Republic officially uses Myanmar, although its Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses both Myanmar and Burma on its website.NEWS, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic provides CZK 2.5 million of immediate assistance to flood victims in Myanmar/Burma,weblink 8 November 2015, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, 7 August 2015, The United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia,WEB, Countries, economies and regions – Myanmar,weblink Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, 14 September 2016, Russia, Germany,NEWS, Burma vs. Myanmar: What's in a Name,weblink 2 August 2013, DW, 1 September 2007, China, India, Bangladesh, Norway,NEWS, Mudditt, Jassica, Burma or Myanmar: Will the US make the switch?,weblink 2 August 2013, 19 November 2012, JapanBOOK, Burma Or Myanmar? The Struggle for National Identity, Dittmer, Lowell, 2010, 2,weblink World Scientific, 9789814313643, and Switzerland.WEB, Representations and travel advice – Myanmar,weblink Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, 14 September 2016, Most English-speaking international news media refer to the country by the name Myanmar, including the BBC,NEWS,weblink BBC News, Myanmar profile, 16 July 2013, CNN,NEWS,weblink CNN, Myanmar Fast Facts, 30 July 2013, Al Jazeera,WEB,weblink Myanmar blast hits anti-Muslim monk's event â€“ Asia-Pacific, Al Jazeera, 22 July 2013, Reuters,NEWS,weblink Myanmar, Reuters, 9 February 2009, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)/Radio Australia.NEWS, Woodley, Naomi, Carr apprehensive about Rohingyas' future in Myanmar,weblink 14 September 2016, AM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 12 July 2013, NEWS, Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Thailand for official visit,weblink 14 September 2016, Radio Australia, 23 June 2016, Myanmar is known with a name deriving from Burma as opposed to Myanmar in Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Greek – Birmania being the local version of Burma in the Spanish language, for example. Myanmar used to be known as Birmânia in Portuguese, and as Birmanie in French.WEB,weblink 'Birmanie ou Myanmar ? Le vrai faux débat francophone' – La France en Birmanie,, 13 April 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2014, dead, As in the past, French-language media today consistently use Birmanie.MAGAZINE,weblink Birmanie: 87.000 Rohingyas réfugiés au Bangladesh en dix jours, selon l'ONU, L'Obs, 4 September 2017, 9 September 2017, WEB,weblink L'actualité sur Birmanie par L'Obs, L'Obs,

English pronunciations of Myanmar

Myanmar is pronounced in at least nine different ways in English: {{IPAc-en|ËŒ|m|j|æ|n|ˈ|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|ˈ|m|iː|É™|n|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Myanmar.ogg|ËŒ|m|j|ɑː|n|ˈ|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|ˈ|m|j|æ|n|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|m|i|ˈ|æ|n|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|ˈ|m|j|ɑː|n|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|ËŒ|m|aɪ|.|É™|n|ˈ|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|m|aɪ|ˈ|ɑː|n|m|ɑːr}}, {{IPAc-en|ˈ|m|aɪ|æ|n|m|ɑːr}}.WEB,weblink How to say Myanmar, Magazine Monitor, An occasional guide to the words and names in the news from Martha Figueroa-Clark of the BBC Pronunciation Unit, BBC, 26 September 2007, Martha Figueroa-Clark, WEB,weblink Definition of Myanmar â€“ Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English), Oxford Dictionaries, 1 September 2012, WEB,weblink Myanmar,, 6 July 2013, DICTIONARY, Thackrah, J. R.,weblink Definition of Myanmar, Collins English Dictionary, 1 September 2012, WEB,weblink Myanmar â€“ Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary,, 1 September 2012, BOOK, Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society, Ammon, Ulrich, 2004, 2nd, Volume 3/3, 978-3-11-018418-1, Walter de Gruyter,weblink 2012,



File:Pyu Realm.png|thumb|Pyu city-states c. 8th century; Pagan is shown for comparison only and is not contemporary.]]Archaeological evidence shows that Homo erectus lived in the region now known as Myanmar as early as 750,000 years ago, with no more erectus finds after 75,000 years ago.WEB, Win Naing Tun, Prehistory to Protohistory of Myanmar: A Perspective of Historical Geography,weblink Myanmar Environment Institute, 22 November 2016, 1, 24 July 2015, Homo erectus had lived in Myanmar 750,000 years ago, BOOK, Bowman, John Stewart Bowman, Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture, 2013, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-50004-3, 476,weblink The first evidence of Homo sapiens is dated to about 25,000 BP with discoveries of stone tools in central Myanmar.JOURNAL, Schaarschmidt, Maria, Fu, Xiao, Li, Bo, Marwick, Ben, Khaing, Kyaw, Douka, Katerina, Roberts, Richard G., pIRIR and IR-RF dating of archaeological deposits at Badahlin and Gu Myaung Caves – First luminescence ages for Myanmar, Quaternary Geochronology, 49, 262–270, January 2018, 10.1016/j.quageo.2018.01.001, Evidence of Neolithic age domestication of plants and animals and the use of polished stone tools dating to sometime between 10,000 and 6,000 BC has been discovered in the form of cave paintings in Padah-Lin Caves.WEB, Cooler, Richard M., The Art and Culture of Burma (Chapter 1), 2002,weblink Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, The Bronze Age arrived circa 1500 BC when people in the region were turning copper into bronze, growing rice and domesticating poultry and pigs; they were among the first people in the world to do so.Myint-U, p. 37 Human remains and artefacts from this era were discovered in Monywa District in the Sagaing Division.WEB,weblink Skeletal Remains of Nyaunggan, Budalin Township, Monywa District, Sagaing Division, Yee Yee Aung, Perspective July 2002, 7 October 2008, The Iron Age began around 500 BC with the emergence of iron-working settlements in an area south of present-day Mandalay.Myint-U, p. 45 Evidence also shows the presence of rice-growing settlements of large villages and small towns that traded with their surroundings as far as China between 500 BC and 200 AD.JOURNAL, Hudson, Bob, A Pyu Homeland in the Samon Valley: a new theory of the origins of Myanmar's early urban system,weblink Myanmar Historical Commission Golden Jubilee International Conference, March 2005, 1, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 November 2013, Iron Age Burmese cultures also had influences from outside sources such as India and Thailand, as seen in their funerary practices concerning child burials. This indicates some form of communication between groups in Myanmar and other places, possibly through trade.Coupey, A. S. (2008). Infant and child burials in the Samon valley, Myanmar. In Archaeology in Southeast Asia, from Homo Erectus to the living traditions: choice of papers from the 11th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, 25–29 September 2006, Bougon, France

Early city-states

Around the second century BC the first-known city-states emerged in central Myanmar. The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu people, the earliest inhabitants of Myanmar of whom records are extant, from present-day Yunnan.BOOK, Hall, D.G.E., Burma, 3rd, 1960, Hutchinson University Library, 978-1-4067-3503-1, 8–10, BOOK, Moore, Elizabeth H., Early Landscapes of Myanmar, 2007, River Books, Bangkok, 978-974-9863-31-2, 236, The Pyu culture was heavily influenced by trade with India, importing Buddhism as well as other cultural, architectural and political concepts, which would have an enduring influence on later Burmese culture and political organisation.Myint-U, pp. 51–52By the 9th century, several city-states had sprouted across the land: the Pyu in the central dry zone, Mon along the southern coastline and Arakanese along the western littoral. The balance was upset when the Pyu came under repeated attacks from Nanzhao between the 750s and the 830s. In the mid-to-late 9th century the Bamar people founded a small settlement at Bagan. It was one of several competing city-states until the late 10th century when it grew in authority and grandeur.Lieberman, pp. 90–91

Imperial Burma

{{See also|Ava Kingdom|Hanthawaddy Kingdom|Kingdom of Mrauk U|Shan States}}File:Bagan, Burma.jpg|thumb|Pagodas and kyaungs in present-day Bagan, the capital of the Pagan KingdomPagan KingdomPagan gradually grew to absorb its surrounding states until the 1050s–1060s when Anawrahta founded the Pagan Kingdom, the first ever unification of the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Pagan Empire and the Khmer Empire were two main powers in mainland Southeast Asia.Lieberman, p. 24 The Burmese language and culture gradually became dominant in the upper Irrawaddy valley, eclipsing the Pyu, Mon and Pali norms by the late 12th century.BOOK, Htin Aung, Maung, A History of Burma, Cambridge University Press, New York and London, 1967, 63–65, Theravada Buddhism slowly began to spread to the village level, although Tantric, Mahayana, Hinduism, and folk religion remained heavily entrenched. Pagan's rulers and wealthy built over 10,000 Buddhist temples in the Pagan capital zone alone. Repeated Mongol invasions (1277–1301) toppled the four-century-old kingdom in 1287.File:MysticalMraukU.jpg|thumb|Temples at Mrauk UMrauk UPagan's collapse was followed by 250 years of political fragmentation that lasted well into the 16th century. Like the Burmans four centuries earlier, Shan migrants who arrived with the Mongol invasions stayed behind. Several competing Shan States came to dominate the entire northwestern to eastern arc surrounding the Irrawaddy valley. The valley too was beset with petty states until the late 14th century when two sizeable powers, Ava Kingdom and Hanthawaddy Kingdom, emerged. In the west, a politically fragmented Arakan was under competing influences of its stronger neighbours until the Kingdom of Mrauk U unified the Arakan coastline for the first time in 1437. The kingdom was a protectorate of the Bengal Sultanate at different time periods.Maung Maung Tin, Vol. 2, p. 25Early on, Ava fought wars of unification (1385–1424) but could never quite reassemble the lost empire. Having held off Ava, the Mon-speaking Hanthawaddy entered its golden age, and Arakan went on to become a power in its own right for the next 350 years. In contrast, constant warfare left Ava greatly weakened, and it slowly disintegrated from 1481 onward. In 1527, the Confederation of Shan States conquered Ava itself, and ruled Upper Myanmar until 1555.Like the Pagan Empire, Ava, Hanthawaddy and the Shan states were all multi-ethnic polities. Despite the wars, cultural synchronisation continued. This period is considered a golden age for Burmese culture. Burmese literature "grew more confident, popular, and stylistically diverse", and the second generation of Burmese law codes as well as the earliest pan-Burma chronicles emerged.Lieberman, p. 134 Hanthawaddy monarchs introduced religious reforms that later spread to the rest of the country.Myint-U, pp. 64–65 Many splendid temples of Mrauk U were built during this period.

Taungoo and colonialism

File:Map of Taungoo Empire (1580).png|thumb|Toungoo Empire under BayinnaungBayinnaungPolitical unification returned in the mid-16th century, due to the efforts of Taungoo, a former vassal state of Ava. Taungoo's young, ambitious king Tabinshwehti defeated the more powerful Hanthawaddy in the Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War (1534–41). His successor Bayinnaung went on to conquer a vast swath of mainland Southeast Asia including the Shan states, Lan Na, Manipur, Mong Mao, the Ayutthaya Kingdom, Lan Xang and southern Arakan. However, the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia unravelled soon after Bayinnaung's death in 1581, completely collapsing by 1599. Ayutthaya seized Tenasserim and Lan Na, and Portuguese mercenaries established Portuguese rule at Thanlyin (Syriam).The dynasty regrouped and defeated the Portuguese in 1613 and Siam in 1614. It restored a smaller, more manageable kingdom, encompassing Lower Myanmar, Upper Myanmar, Shan states, Lan Na and upper Tenasserim. The Restored Toungoo kings created a legal and political framework whose basic features would continue well into the 19th century. The crown completely replaced the hereditary chieftainships with appointed governorships in the entire Irrawaddy valley, and greatly reduced the hereditary rights of Shan chiefs. Its trade and secular administrative reforms built a prosperous economy for more than 80 years. From the 1720s onward, the kingdom was beset with repeated Meithei raids into Upper Myanmar and a nagging rebellion in Lan Na. In 1740, the Mon of Lower Myanmar founded the Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom. Hanthawaddy forces sacked Ava in 1752, ending the 266-year-old Toungoo Dynasty.File:Shwedagon pagoda.jpg|thumb|A British 1825 lithograph of Shwedagon Pagoda shows British occupation during the First Anglo-Burmese WarFirst Anglo-Burmese WarAfter the fall of Ava, the Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War involved one resistance group under Alaungpaya defeating the Restored Hanthawaddy, and by 1759, he had reunited all of Myanmar and Manipur, and driven out the French and the British, who had provided arms to Hanthawaddy. By 1770, Alaungpaya's heirs had subdued much of Laos (1765) and fought and won the Burmese–Siamese War (1765–67) against Ayutthaya and the Sino-Burmese War (1765–69) against Qing China (1765–1769).Lieberman, pp. 184–187With Burma preoccupied by the Chinese threat, Ayutthaya recovered its territories by 1770, and went on to capture Lan Na by 1776. Burma and Siam went to war until 1855, but all resulted in a stalemate, exchanging Tenasserim (to Burma) and Lan Na (to Ayutthaya). Faced with a powerful China and a resurgent Ayutthaya in the east, King Bodawpaya turned west, acquiring Arakan (1785), Manipur (1814) and Assam (1817). It was the second-largest empire in Burmese history but also one with a long ill-defined border with British India.Myint-U, p. 109The breadth of this empire was short lived. Burma lost Arakan, Manipur, Assam and Tenasserim to the British in the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826). In 1852, the British easily seized Lower Burma in the Second Anglo-Burmese War. King Mindon Min tried to modernise the kingdom, and in 1875 narrowly avoided annexation by ceding the Karenni States. The British, alarmed by the consolidation of French Indochina, annexed the remainder of the country in the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885.Konbaung kings extended Restored Toungoo's administrative reforms, and achieved unprecedented levels of internal control and external expansion. For the first time in history, the Burmese language and culture came to predominate the entire Irrawaddy valley. The evolution and growth of Burmese literature and theatre continued, aided by an extremely high adult male literacy rate for the era (half of all males and 5% of females).Lieberman, pp. 202–206 Nonetheless, the extent and pace of reforms were uneven and ultimately proved insufficient to stem the advance of British colonialism.

British Burma (1824–1948)

Burma in British India

File:British forces arrival mandalay1885.jpg|thumb|The landing of British forces in Mandalay after the last of the Anglo-Burmese Wars, which resulted in the abdication of the last Burmese monarch, King Thibaw MinThibaw MinFile:IND 004723.jpg|thumb|British troops firing a mortar on the MawchiMawchiThe eighteenth century saw Burmese rulers, whose country had not previously been of particular interest to European traders, seek to maintain their traditional influence in the western areas of Assam, Manipur and Arakan. Pressing them, however, was the British East India Company, which was expanding its interests eastwards over the same territory. Over the next sixty years, diplomacy, raids, treaties and compromises continued until, after three Anglo-Burmese Wars (1824–1885), Britain proclaimed control over most of Burma.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 287, 978-1-107-50718-0, British rule brought social, economic, cultural and administrative changes.With the fall of Mandalay, all of Burma came under British rule, being annexed on 1 January 1886. Throughout the colonial era, many Indians arrived as soldiers, civil servants, construction workers and traders and, along with the Anglo-Burmese community, dominated commercial and civil life in Burma. Rangoon became the capital of British Burma and an important port between Calcutta and Singapore.Burmese resentment was strong and was vented in violent riots that paralysed Yangon (Rangoon) on occasion all the way until the 1930s.BOOK, Maurice, Collis, 1945, Trials in Burma, Some of the discontent was caused by a disrespect for Burmese culture and traditions such as the British refusal to remove shoes when they entered pagodas. Buddhist monks became the vanguards of the independence movement. U Wisara, an activist monk, died in prison after a 166-day hunger strike to protest against a rule that forbade him to wear his Buddhist robes while imprisoned.BOOK, Heinz, Bechert, 1984, The World of Buddhism-Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture, 978-0-87196-982-8, Facts on File, New York, N.Y.,weblink

Separation of British Burma from British India

On 1 April 1937, Burma became a separately administered colony of Great Britain and Ba Maw became the first Prime Minister and Premier of Burma. Ba Maw was an outspoken advocate for Burmese self-rule and he opposed the participation of Great Britain, and by extension Burma, in World War II. He resigned from the Legislative Assembly and was arrested for sedition. In 1940, before Japan formally entered the Second World War, Aung San formed the Burma Independence Army in Japan.A major battleground, Burma was devastated during World War II by March 1942. Within months after they entered the war, Japanese troops had advanced on Rangoon and the British administration had collapsed. A Burmese Executive Administration headed by Ba Maw was established by the Japanese in August 1942. Wingate's British Chindits were formed into long-range penetration groups trained to operate deep behind Japanese lines.NEWS, Bennett, Will,weblink Chindits remember their fallen comrades, The Independent, 20 August 1995, 20 November 2012, London, A similar American unit, Merrill's Marauders, followed the Chindits into the Burmese jungle in 1943.WEB,weblink China-Burma-India: Merrill's Marauders. Veterans History Project, Library of Congress,, 14 November 2012, 20 November 2012, Beginning in late 1944, allied troops launched a series of offensives that led to the end of Japanese rule in July 1945. The battles were intense with much of Burma laid waste by the fighting. Overall, the Japanese lost some 150,000 men in Burma with only 1,700 prisoners taken.BOOK, Towle, Philip, Philip Towle, Kosuge, Margaret, Kibata, Yōichi, 2000,weblink Japanese prisoners of war, Continuum International Publishing Group, 48, 978-1-85285-192-7, Although many Burmese fought initially for the Japanese as part of the Burma Independence Army, many Burmese, mostly from the ethnic minorities, served in the British Burma Army.BOOK, Ian, Fellowes-Gordon, 1971, The Battle For Naw Seng's Kingdom: General Stilwel, The Burma National Army and the Arakan National Army fought with the Japanese from 1942 to 1944 but switched allegiance to the Allied side in 1945. Under Japanese occupation, 170,000 to 250,000 civilians died.Michael Clodfelter. Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500–2000. 2nd Ed. 2002 {{ISBN|0-7864-1204-6}}. p. 556Werner Gruhl, Imperial Japan's World War Two, 1931–1945 Transaction 2007 {{ISBN|978-0-7658-0352-8}} (Werner Gruhl is former chief of NASA's Cost and Economic Analysis Branch with a lifetime interest in the study of the First and Second World Wars.)Following World War II, Aung San negotiated the Panglong Agreement with ethnic leaders that guaranteed the independence of Myanmar as a unified state. Aung Zan Wai, Pe Khin, Bo Hmu Aung, Sir Maung Gyi, Dr. Sein Mya Maung, Myoma U Than Kywe were among the negotiators of the historical Panglong Conference negotiated with Bamar leader General Aung San and other ethnic leaders in 1947. In 1947, Aung San became Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council of Myanmar, a transitional government. But in July 1947, political rivalsNEWS,weblink Author Discusses Martyrs' Day Assassination of Aung San, The Irrawaddy, Moe, Kyaw Zwa, August 1977, assassinated Aung San and several cabinet members.BOOK, Gustaaf, Houtman, 1999, Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, 978-4-87297-748-6, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo,

Independence (1948–1962)

File:Sao Shwe Thaik and Hubert Elvin Rance.jpg|thumb|British governor Hubert Elvin Rance and Sao Shwe Thaik at the flag raising ceremony on 4 January 1948 (Independence Day of BurmaIndependence Day of BurmaOn 4 January 1948, the nation became an independent republic, under the terms of the Burma Independence Act 1947. The new country was named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and U Nu as its first Prime Minister. Unlike most other former British colonies and overseas territories, Burma did not become a member of the Commonwealth. A bicameral parliament was formed, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Nationalities,WEB,weblink The Constitution of the Union of Burma, 7 July 2006, 1947, DVB,weblink" title="">weblink 15 June 2006, and multi-party elections were held in 1951–1952, 1956 and 1960.The geographical area Burma encompasses today can be traced to the Panglong Agreement, which combined Burma Proper, which consisted of Lower Burma and Upper Burma, and the Frontier Areas, which had been administered separately by the British.BOOK, Martin, Smith, 1991, Burma -Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity, Zed Books, London and New Jersey, 42–43, In 1961, U Thant, then the Union of Burma's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and former Secretary to the Prime Minister, was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations, a position he held for ten years.JOURNAL, 14, 9,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 March 2012, Zaw, Aungjournal=The Irrawaddy, September 2006, Among the Burmese to work at the UN when he was Secretary-General was a young Aung San Suu Kyi (daughter of Aung San), who went on to become winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.When the non-Burman ethnic groups pushed for autonomy or federalism, alongside having a weak civilian government at the centre, the military leadership staged a coup d’état in 1962. Though incorporated in the 1947 Constitution, successive military governments construed the use of the term ‘federalism’ as being anti-national, anti-unity and pro-disintegration.NEWS,weblink The united states of Myanmar?, The Hindu, 23 May 2017, 9 September 2017, Kipgen, Nehginpao,

Military rule (1962–2011)

On 2 March 1962, the military led by General Ne Win took control of Burma through a coup d'état, and the government has been under direct or indirect control by the military since then. Between 1962 and 1974, Myanmar was ruled by a revolutionary council headed by the general. Almost all aspects of society (business, media, production) were nationalised or brought under government control under the Burmese Way to Socialism,Myint-U which combined Soviet-style nationalisation and central planning.A new constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma was adopted in 1974. Until 1988, the country was ruled as a one-party system, with the General and other military officers resigning and ruling through the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP).BOOK, Christina, Fink, 2001, Living Silence: Burma under Military Rule, 978-1-85649-926-2, White Lotus, Bangkok, During this period, Myanmar became one of the world's most impoverished countries.NEWS,weblink The Burma road to ruin, The Guardian, London, Mark, Tallentire, 28 September 2007, File:8888 Uprising.jpg|right|thumb|Protesters gathering in central RangoonRangoonThere were sporadic protests against military rule during the Ne Win years and these were almost always violently suppressed. On 7 July 1962, the government broke up demonstrations at Rangoon University, killing 15 students. In 1974, the military violently suppressed anti-government protests at the funeral of U Thant. Student protests in 1975, 1976, and 1977 were quickly suppressed by overwhelming force.In 1988, unrest over economic mismanagement and political oppression by the government led to widespread pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the country known as the 8888 Uprising. Security forces killed thousands of demonstrators, and General Saw Maung staged a coup d'état and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). In 1989, SLORC declared martial law after widespread protests. The military government finalised plans for People's Assembly elections on 31 May 1989.WEB,weblink Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law, 11 July 2006, 31 May 1989, State Law and Order Restoration Council,, SLORC changed the country's official English name from the "Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma" to the "Union of Myanmar" in 18 June 1989 by enacting the adaptation of the expression law.In May 1990, the government held free elections for the first time in almost 30 years and the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, won 392 out of a total 492 seats (i.e., 80% of the seats). However, the military junta refused to cede powerWEB,weblink 1990 Multi-party Democracy General Elections, Han, Khin Kyaw, 1 February 2003, National League for Democracy,, and continued to rule the nation as SLORC until 1997, and then as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) until its dissolution in March 2011.File:2007 Myanmar protests 7.jpg|thumb|Protesters in Yangon during the 2007 Saffron Revolution with a banner that reads non-violence: national movement in Burmese. In the background is Shwedagon PagodaShwedagon PagodaOn 23 June 1997, Myanmar was admitted into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On 27 March 2006, the military junta, which had moved the national capital from Yangon to a site near Pyinmana in November 2005, officially named the new capital Naypyidaw, meaning "city of the kings".NEWS,weblink Burma's new capital stages parade, BBC News, 27 March 2006, 24 June 2006, File:Cyclone Nargis -Myanmar-3May2008.jpg|thumb|Cyclone NargisCyclone NargisIn August 2007, an increase in the price of fuel led to the Saffron Revolution led by Buddhist monks that were dealt with harshly by the government.NEWS,weblink Burma leaders double fuel prices, BBC News, 15 August 2007, 20 November 2012, NEWS,weblink Military junta threatens monks in Burma, London, The Times, 24 September 2007, 27 April 2010, Jenny, Booth, WEB,weblink 100,000 Protestors Flood Streets of Rangoon in "Saffron Revolution", BOOK, Fink, Christina, The Moment of the Monks: Burma, 2007, Adam Roberts (scholar), Adam Roberts, Timothy Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009, 978-0-19-955201-6, 354–70,weblink NEWS,weblink UN envoy warns of Myanmar crisis,, 20 November 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 February 2008, The government cracked down on them on 26 September 2007. The crackdown was harsh, with reports of barricades at the Shwedagon Pagoda and monks killed. There were also rumours of disagreement within the Burmese armed forces, but none was confirmed. The military crackdown against unarmed protesters was widely condemned as part of the international reactions to the Saffron Revolution and led to an increase in economic sanctions against the Burmese Government.In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis caused extensive damage in the densely populated, rice-farming delta of the Irrawaddy Division.NEWS, Fountain, Henry,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2008, Aid arrives in Myanmar as death toll passes 22,000, but worst-hit area still cut off â€“, International Herald Tribune, 6 May 2008, It was the worst natural disaster in Burmese history with reports of an estimated 200,000 people dead or missing, damage totalled to 10 billion US dollars, and as many as 1 million left homeless.NEWS,weblink Official: UN plane lands in Myanmar with aid after cyclone, Associated PressIsolationism>isolationist government was accused of hindering United Nations recovery efforts.STEVENSON, RACHEL >AUTHOR2=BORGER, JULIAN LASTAUTHORAMP=YES URL=HTTPS://WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM/WORLD/2008/MAY/09/CYCLONENARGIS.BURMA4 LOCATION=LONDON Humanitarian aid was requested but concerns about foreign military or intelligence presence in the country delayed the entry of United States military planes delivering medicine, food, and other supplies.BURMA: IMPERIALISTS EXPLOIT NATURAL DISASTER TO PROMOTE REGIME CHANGEPUBLISHER=PROLETARIAN ONLINE, June 2008, In early August 2009, a conflict known as the Kokang incident broke out in Shan State in northern Myanmar. For several weeks, junta troops fought against ethnic minorities including the Han Chinese,NEWS,weblink Fighting forces up to 30,000 to flee Myanmar, MSNBC, 28 August 2009, 20 November 2012, Wa, and Kachin.NEWS,weblink More fighting feared as thousands flee Burma, Bangkok Post, Agence France-Presse, 27 August 2009, 28 August 2009, NEWS, The New York Times, Fuller, Thomas, 28 August 2009, 28 August 2009,weblink Refugees Flee to China as Fighting Breaks Out in Myanmar, During 8–12 August, the first days of the conflict, as many as 10,000 Burmese civilians fled to Yunnan in neighbouring China.NEWS, BBC News,weblink Thousands Flee Burma Violence, 26 August 2009, 28 August 2009,

Civil wars

Civil wars have been a constant feature of Myanmar's socio-political landscape since the attainment of independence in 1948. These wars are predominantly struggles for ethnic and sub-national autonomy, with the areas surrounding the ethnically Bamar central districts of the country serving as the primary geographical setting of conflict. Foreign journalists and visitors require a special travel permit to visit the areas in which Myanmar's civil wars continue.WEB, Restricted Areas in Burma,weblink Tourism Burma, 27 March 2013, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 January 2013, In October 2012, the ongoing conflicts in Myanmar included the Kachin conflict,NEWS, Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy,weblink The New York Times, 4 April 2013, Fuller, Thomas, between the Pro-Christian Kachin Independence Army and the government;NEWS, Displaced by fighting, villagers take shelter in Hpakant,weblink 27 March 2013, Democratic Voice of Burma, 25 September 2012, Nadi, Nang Mya, NEWS,weblink Blood and Gold: Inside Burma's Hidden War, Al Jazeera, 4 October 2012, a civil war between the Rohingya Muslims, and the government and non-government groups in Rakhine State;NEWS, About 75,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar camps: Refugee International,weblink 27 March 2013, The Hindu, 29 September 2012, Chennai, India, and a conflict between the Shan,WEB, Supporting Human Rights in Burma,weblink The White House Blog, The White House, 27 March 2013, Power, Samantha, 9 November 2012, NEWS,weblink Myanmar Shan refugees struggle at Thai border, Al Jazeera, 2 October 2012, Lahu, and KarenNEWS, Karen fighters and Burma Army soldiers killed over ceasefire breach,weblink 27 March 2013, Karen News, 16 March 2012, Saw Khar Su Nyar (KIC), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 June 2013, NEWS,weblink Myanmar: Karen groups cautious on peace initiative, IRIN, 5 March 2012, minority groups, and the government in the eastern half of the country. In addition, al-Qaeda signalled an intention to become involved in Myanmar. In a video released on 3 September 2014, mainly addressed to India, the militant group's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda had not forgotten the Muslims of Myanmar and that the group was doing "what they can to rescue you".NEWS, Concern in India as Al Qaeda announces new India front,weblink 4 September 2014, 6 September 2014, Myanmar News.Net, In response, the military raised its level of alertness, while the Burmese Muslim Association issued a statement saying Muslims would not tolerate any threat to their motherland.NEWS, Myanmar Muslim group rejects Al Qaeda statement,weblink 6 September 2014, 6 September 2014, Myanmar News.Net, {{cbignore|bot=medic}}Armed conflict between ethnic Chinese rebels and the Myanmar Armed Forces have resulted in the Kokang offensive in February 2015. The conflict had forced 40,000 to 50,000 civilians to flee their homes and seek shelter on the Chinese side of the border.WEB,weblink Tens of thousands flee war, airstrikes in Kokang region, DVB Multimedia Group, 31 March 2015, 12 February 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 28 March 2015, dead, During the incident, the government of China was accused of giving military assistance to the ethnic Chinese rebels. Burmese officials have been historically "manipulated" and pressured by the Chinese government throughout Burmese modern history to create closer and binding ties with China, creating a Chinese satellite state in Southeast Asia."Myanmar Kokang Rebels Deny Receiving Chinese Weapons". Radio Free Asia. However, uncertainties exist as clashes between Burmese troops and local insurgent groups continue.

Democratic reforms

The goal of the Burmese constitutional referendum of 2008, held on 10 May 2008, is the creation of a "discipline-flourishing democracy". As part of the referendum process, the name of the country was changed from the "Union of Myanmar" to the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar", and general elections were held under the new constitution in 2010. Observer accounts of the 2010 election describe the event as mostly peaceful; however, allegations of polling station irregularities were raised, and the United Nations (UN) and a number of Western countries condemned the elections as fraudulent.NEWS,weblink The Slow Thaw of Burma's Notorious Military Junta, The Times, UK, 1 September 2011, Marshall, Andrew, 11 April 2011, File:Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at home of Aung San Suu Kyi.jpg|thumb|U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Aung San Suu KyiAung San Suu KyiThe military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party declared victory in the 2010 elections, stating that it had been favoured by 80 percent of the votes; however, the claim was disputed by numerous pro-democracy opposition groups who asserted that the military regime had engaged in rampant fraud.NEWS,weblink U.N. Doubts Fairness of Election in Myanmar, The New York Times, Neil, MacFarquhar, 21 October 2010, One report documented 77 percent as the official turnout rate of the election.WEB, A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls,weblink Transnational Institute â€“ Burma Project, TNI, 27 March 2013, 14 December 2010, The military junta was dissolved on 30 March 2011.Opinions differ whether the transition to liberal democracy is underway. According to some reports, the military's presence continues as the label "disciplined democracy" suggests. This label asserts that the Burmese military is allowing certain civil liberties while clandestinely institutionalising itself further into Burmese politics. Such an assertion assumes that reforms only occurred when the military was able to safeguard its own interests through the transition—here, "transition" does not refer to a transition to a liberal democracy, but transition to a quasi-military rule.JOURNAL, 10.1177/0095327X13492943, Burma's Transition to Quasi-Military Rule: From Rulers to Guardians?, Armed Forces & Society, 40, 4, 742, 2013, Bunte, M., Since the 2010 election, the government has embarked on a series of reforms to direct the country towards liberal democracy, a mixed economy, and reconciliation, although doubts persist about the motives that underpin such reforms. The series of reforms includes the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission, the granting of general amnesties for more than 200 political prisoners, new labour laws that permit labour unions and strikes, a relaxation of press censorship, and the regulation of currency practices.NEWS,weblink Obstacles lie ahead in Burma's bid for reform, BBC, 19 November 2011, 20 November 2011, Loyn, David, The impact of the post-election reforms has been observed in numerous areas, including ASEAN's approval of Myanmar's bid for the position of ASEAN chair in 2014;JOURNAL, Cabellero-Anthony, Mely, "Myanmar's Chairmanship of ASEAN: Challenges and Opportunities", Myanmar's Growing Regional Role, NBR Special Report, March 2014,weblink the visit by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011 for the encouragement of further progress, which was the first visit by a Secretary of State in more than fifty years,NEWS, Budding Friendship on Display as Clinton, Burma's Suu Kyi Meet Again, Hepler, Lauren, Voorhees, Josh,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 17 June 2013, Associated Press, Slate (magazine), Slate, 1 December 2011, Wrapping up a historic three-day visit to Myanmar [Burma], the first by a secretary of state to the Southeast Asian nation in more than 50 years, during which Clinton met with the Burmese president and former military commander Thein Sein, as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi;NEWS, Myers, Steven Lee, Clinton Says U.S. Will Relax Some Restrictions on Myanmar,weblink The New York Times, 2 December 2011, A6, 15 May 2013, and the participation of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party in the 2012 by-elections, facilitated by the government's abolition of the laws that previously barred the NLD.NEWS,weblink US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to visit Burma, BBC, 18 November 2011, 25 November 2011, As of July 2013, about 100NEWS, Myanmar set to release some 70 prisoners,weblink 24 July 2013, The Myanmar Times, 24 July 2013, NEWS, Weng, Lawi, Burma Govt Releases 73 Political Prisoners,weblink 24 July 2013, 24 July 2013, political prisoners remain imprisoned, while conflict between the Burmese Army and local insurgent groups continues.File:Burma en.png|thumb|upright=0.8|Map of Myanmar and its divisions, including Shan State, Kachin State, Rakhine State and Karen State.]]In 1 April 2012 by-elections, the NLD won 43 of the 45 available seats; previously an illegal organisation, the NLD had not won a single seat under new constitution. The 2012 by-elections were also the first time that international representatives were allowed to monitor the voting process in Myanmar.NEWS, Golluoglu, Esmer, Aung San Suu Kyi hails 'new era' for Burma after landslide victory,weblink The Guardian, 4 February 2012, London,

2015 general elections

General elections were held on 8 November 2015. These were the first openly contested elections held in Myanmar since 1990. The results gave the National League for Democracy an absolute majority of seats in both chambers of the national parliament, enough to ensure that its candidate would become president, while NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency.NEWS, Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Wins Majority in Myanmar,weblink 13 November 2015, BBC News, 13 November 2015, The new parliament convened on 1 February 2016WEB, Suu Kyi's novice MPs learn ropes in outgoing Myanmar parliament,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 27 January 2016, Channel NewsAsia, 28 January 2016, and, on 15 March 2016, Htin Kyaw was elected as the first non-military president since the military coup of 1962.NEWS, Moe, Wae, Ramzy, Austin, Myanmar Lawmakers Name Htin Kyaw President, Affirming Civilian Rule, 15 March 2016, The New York Times,weblink On 6 April 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi assumed the newly created role of State Counsellor, a role akin to a Prime Minister.


(File:Un-myanmar.png|thumb|A map of Myanmar)(File:Koppen-Geiger Map MMR present.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|Myanmar map of Köppen climate classification.)Myanmar has a total area of {{convert|678500|km2}}. It lies between latitudes 9° and 29°N, and longitudes 92° and 102°E. As of February 2011, Myanmar consisted of 14 states and regions, 67 districts, 330 townships, 64 sub-townships, 377 towns, 2,914 Wards, 14,220 village tracts and 68,290 villages.Myanmar is bordered in the northwest by the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh and the Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states of India. Its north and northeast border is with the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan for a Sino-Myanmar border total of {{convert|2185|km|abbr=on}}. It is bounded by Laos and Thailand to the southeast. Myanmar has {{convert|1930|km|abbr=on}} of contiguous coastline along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to the southwest and the south, which forms one quarter of its total perimeter.{{r|World Factbook}}In the north, the Hengduan Mountains form the border with China. Hkakabo Razi, located in Kachin State, at an elevation of {{convert|5881|m|ft|0}}, is the highest point in Myanmar.BOOK, Patrick Hesp, 2000, Geographica's World Reference, Random House Australia, 738, 741, etal, Many mountain ranges, such as the Rakhine Yoma, the Bago Yoma, the Shan Hills and the Tenasserim Hills exist within Myanmar, all of which run north-to-south from the Himalayas.BOOK, Mya, Than, 2005, Myanmar in ASEAN: Regional Co-operation Experience, 978-9812302106, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, The mountain chains divide Myanmar's three river systems, which are the Irrawaddy, Salween (Thanlwin), and the Sittaung rivers.BOOK, Myat, Thein, 2005, Economic Development of Myanmar, 978-9812302113, Inst. of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, The Irrawaddy River, Myanmar's longest river, nearly {{convert|2170|km|mi|0}} long, flows into the Gulf of Martaban. Fertile plains exist in the valleys between the mountain chains. The majority of Myanmar's population lives in the Irrawaddy valley, which is situated between the Rakhine Yoma and the Shan Plateau.

Administrative divisions

{{Burma Administrative Divisions Image Map}}Myanmar is divided into seven states ({{my|ပြည်နယ်}}) and seven regions ({{my|တိုင်းဒေသကြီး}}), formerly called divisions.WEB,weblink Myanmar. States & Regions, Myanmar's NET, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2013, Regions are predominantly Bamar (that is, mainly inhabited by the dominant ethnic group). States, in essence, are regions that are home to particular ethnic minorities. The administrative divisions are further subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into townships, wards, and villages.Below are the number of districts, townships, cities/towns, wards, village groups and villages in each divisions and states of Myanmar as of 31 December 2001:List of Districts, Townships, Cities/Towns, Wards, Village Groups and Villages in Union of Myanmar published by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Union of Myanmar on 31 December 2001{| class="wikitable"! No.! State/Region! Districts! Townships! Cities/Towns! Wards! Villagegroups! Villages| 1| Kachin State| 4| 18| 20| 116| 606| 2630| 2| Kayah State| 2| 7| 7| 29| 79| 624| 3| Kayin State| 3| 7| 10| 46| 376| 2092| 4| Chin State| 2| 9| 9| 29| 475| 1355| 5| Sagaing Region| 8| 37| 37| 171| 1769| 6095| 6| Tanintharyi Region| 3| 10| 10| 63| 265| 1255| 7| Bago Region| 4| 28| 33| 246| 1424| 6498| 8| Magway Region| 5| 25| 26| 160| 1543| 4774| 9| Mandalay Region| 7| 31| 29| 259| 1611| 5472| 10| Mon State| 2| 10| 11| 69| 381| 1199| 11| Rakhine State| 4| 17| 17| 120| 1041| 3871| 12| Yangon Region| 4| 45| 20| 685| 634| 2119| 13| Shan State| 11| 54| 54| 336| 1626| 15513| 14| Ayeyarwady Region|6| 26| 29| 219| 1912| 11651|| Total| 63| 324| 312| 2548| 13742| 65148


File:MonStateMudon.jpg|thumb|The limestone landscape of Mon StateMon StateMuch of the country lies between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator. It lies in the monsoon region of Asia, with its coastal regions receiving over {{convert|5000|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} of rain annually. Annual rainfall in the delta region is approximately {{convert|2500|mm|in|1|abbr=on}}, while average annual rainfall in the Dry Zone in central Myanmar is less than {{convert|1000|mm|in|1|abbr=on}}. The Northern regions of Myanmar are the coolest, with average temperatures of {{convert|21|C|F}}. Coastal and delta regions have an average maximum temperature of {{convert|32|C|F|1}}.


{{see|Deforestation in Myanmar}}Myanmar continues to perform badly in the global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with an overall ranking of 153 out of 180 countries in 2016; among the worst in the South Asian region, only ahead of Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The EPI was established in 2001 by the World Economic Forum as a global gauge to measure how well individual countries perform in implementing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The environmental areas where Myanmar performs worst (ie. highest ranking) are air quality (174), health impacts of environmental issues (143) and biodiversity and habitat (142). Myanmar performs best (ie. lowest ranking) in environmental impacts of fisheries (21), but with declining fish stocks. Despite several issues, Myanmar also ranks 64 and scores very good (ie. a high percentage of 93.73%) in environmental effects of the agricultural industry because of an excellent management of the nitrogen cycle.JOURNAL,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 4 February 2016, 2016 Report, EPI Report, 17 December 2016, EPI (2016): Myanmar {{Webarchive|url= |date=24 April 2017 }} Myanmar is one of the most highly vulnerable countries to climate change; this poses a number of social, political, economic and foreign policy challenges to the country.Overland, I. et al. (2017). Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs: Risk and Opportunity Multiplier. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Myanmar Institute of International and Strategic Studies (MISIS).


Myanmar's slow economic growth has contributed to the preservation of much of its environment and ecosystems. Forests, including dense tropical growth and valuable teak in lower Myanmar, cover over 49% of the country, including areas of acacia, bamboo, ironwood and Magnolia champaca. Coconut and betel palm and rubber have been introduced. In the highlands of the north, oak, pine and various rhododendrons cover much of the land.WEB,weblink Myanmar's Forest Law and Rules n,, 15 July 2006, Heavy logging since the new 1995 forestry law went into effect has seriously reduced forest acreage and wildlife habitat.BOOK, Reid, Robert, Bindloss, Joseph, Butler, Stuart, 2009, Environment: National Parks, Myanmar (Burma), 10th, Lonely Planet, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, 85, 978-1-74104-718-9,weblink registration,weblink The lands along the coast support all varieties of tropical fruits and once had large areas of mangroves although much of the protective mangroves have disappeared. In much of central Myanmar (the Dry Zone), vegetation is sparse and stunted.Typical jungle animals, particularly tigers, occur sparsely in Myanmar. In upper Myanmar, there are rhinoceros, wild water buffalo, clouded leopard, wild boars, deer, antelope, and elephants, which are also tamed or bred in captivity for use as work animals, particularly in the lumber industry. Smaller mammals are also numerous, ranging from gibbons and monkeys to flying foxes. The abundance of birds is notable with over 800 species, including parrots, myna, peafowl, red junglefowl, weaverbirds, crows, herons, and barn owl. Among reptile species there are crocodiles, geckos, cobras, Burmese pythons, and turtles. Hundreds of species of freshwater fish are wide-ranging, plentiful and are very important food sources.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2006, "Flora and Fauna" at,, 17 April 2010, For a list of protected areas, see List of protected areas of Myanmar.

Government and politics

File:Myanmar-Lower-House-Parliament.jpg|right|thumb|Assembly of the UnionAssembly of the UnionThe constitution of Myanmar, its third since independence, was drafted by its military rulers and published in September 2008. The country is governed as a parliamentary system with a bicameral legislature (with an executive President accountable to the legislature), with 25% of the legislators appointed by the military and the rest elected in general elections.The legislature, called the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, is bicameral and made up of two houses: the 224-seat upper house Amyotha Hluttaw (House of Nationalities) and the 440-seat lower house Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives). The upper house consists of 224 members, of whom 168 are directly elected and 56 are appointed by the Burmese Armed Forces. The lower house consists of 440 members, of whom 330 are directly elected and 110 are appointed by the armed forces.

Political culture

The major political parties are the National League for Democracy and the Union Solidarity and Development Party.Myanmar's army-drafted constitution was approved in a referendum in May 2008. The results, 92.4% of the 22 million voters with an official turnout of 99%, are considered suspect by many international observers and by the National League of Democracy with reports of widespread fraud, ballot stuffing, and voter intimidation.NEWS,weblink Reuters, Cyclone-hit Myanmar says 92 percent back charter, Reuters, 15 May 2008, 17 April 2010, The elections of 2010 resulted in a victory for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. Various foreign observers questioned the fairness of the elections.NEWS,weblink 22 October 2010, The New York Times, Neil, MacFarquhar, U.N. Doubts Fairness of Election in Myanmar, NEWS, Jha, Lalit K,weblink 2010 Burmese Election may be Illegitimate: Clinton, The Irrawaddy, 21 May 2009, 15 May 2013, NEWS,weblink Western states dismiss Burma's election, BBC, 8 November 2010, 11 November 2010, One criticism of the election was that only government-sanctioned political parties were allowed to contest in it and the popular National League for Democracy was declared illegal.NEWS, Tisdall, Simon, Aung San Suu Kyi has to tread softly â€“ but governments must tell it like it is, 4 July 2011, The Guardian, UK,weblink However, immediately following the elections, the government ended the house arrest of the democracy advocate and leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi,NEWS, Walker, Peter,weblink Guardian report on Aung's release from house arrest, The Guardian, 1 September 2012, London, 12 November 2010, and her ability to move freely around the country is considered an important test of the military's movement toward more openness. After unexpected reforms in 2011, NLD senior leaders have decided to register as a political party and to field candidates in future by-elections.NEWS,weblink Suu Kyi's NLD democracy party to rejoin Burma politics, BBC, 18 November 2011, 18 November 2011, Myanmar's recent political history is underlined by its struggle to establish democratic structures amidst conflicting factions. This political transition from a closely held military rule to a free democratic system is widely believed to be determining the future of Myanmar. The resounding victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy in 2015 general elections has raised hope for a successful culmination of this transition.WEB,weblink Myanmar under Transition, Asian Review, 9 February 2017, NEWS,weblink Hundred days of Myanmar's democracy, BBC News, 9 February 2017, 8 July 2016, Fisher, Jonah, Myanmar rates as a corrupt nation on the Corruption Perceptions Index with a rank of 136th out of 176 countries worldwide, with 1st being least corrupt, {{As of|2016|lc=y}}.WEB,weblink Corruption Perceptions Index 2016,, 13 November 2017,

Foreign relations

File:Obama-thein-sein.jpg|thumb|Myanmar President Thein Sein meets US President Barack Obama in YangonYangonThough the country's foreign relations, particularly with Western nations, have historically been strained, the situation has markedly improved since the reforms following the 2010 elections. After years of diplomatic isolation and economic and military sanctions,WEB,weblink Burma Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, United States Library of Congress, 4 February 2007, 4 June 2003, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 January 2004, the United States relaxed curbs on foreign aid to Myanmar in November 2011 and announced the resumption of diplomatic relations on 13 January 2012NEWS, Myers, Steven Lee, Mydans, Seth,weblink The New York Times, U.S. to Renew Myanmar Ties in Light of Reforms, 13 January 2012, 15 May 2013, The European Union has placed sanctions on Myanmar, including an arms embargo, cessation of trade preferences, and suspension of all aid with the exception of humanitarian aid.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2006, The EU's relations with Burma / Myanmar, 13 July 2006, European Union, File:U Thant (1963).jpg|thumb|upright|The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, U ThantU ThantSanctions imposed by the United States and European countries against the former military government, coupled with boycotts and other direct pressure on corporations by supporters of the democracy movement, have resulted in the withdrawal from the country of most US and many European companies.NEWS,weblink Overview of Burma sanctions, BBC, 12 November 2011, 18 December 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 August 2011, On 13 April 2012 British Prime Minister David Cameron called for the economic sanctions on Myanmar to be suspended in the wake of the pro-democracy party gaining 43 seats out of a possible 45 in the 2012 by-elections with the party leader, Aung San Suu Kyi becoming a member of the Burmese parliament.NEWS,weblink BBC News, David Cameron calls for Myanmar sanctions to be suspended, 13 April 2012, Despite Western isolation, Asian corporations have generally remained willing to continue investing in the country and to initiate new investments, particularly in natural resource extraction. The country has close relations with neighbouring India and China with several Indian and Chinese companies operating in the country. Under India's Look East policy, fields of co-operation between India and Myanmar include remote sensing,NEWS,weblink Burma, India to sign accord on use of India's remote sensing satellite data,, 9 March 2006, 17 April 2010, oil and gas exploration,NEWS,weblink India looks to Burma to slake growing thirst for gas, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 April 2006, 17 April 2010, information technology,NEWS,weblink Myanmar, India to build IT centres in Myanmar_English_Xinhua, Xinhua News Agency, 4 August 2008, 17 April 2010, hydro powerWEB,weblink India to develop two hydel power projects in Myanmar – 56908,, 1 August 2008, 20 November 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2009, and construction of ports and buildings.NEWS,weblink BBC News, 2 January 2008, 17 April 2010, In 2008, India suspended military aid to Myanmar over the issue of human rights abuses by the ruling junta, although it has preserved extensive commercial ties, which provide the regime with much-needed revenue.WEB,weblink India and Burma: time to choose (Human Rights Watch, 14-1-2008), Human Rights Watch, 17 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 December 2009, The thaw in relations began on 28 November 2011, when Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich and his wife Ludmila arrived in the capital, Naypyidaw, the same day as the country received a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also met with pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.THE BAREFOOT DIPLOMAT: HILLARY CLINTON BEGINS LANDMARK VISIT TO BURMA >URL = HTTP://WORLD.TIME.COM/2011/12/01/THE-BAREFOOT-DIPLOMAT-HILLARY-CLINTON-BEGINS-LANDMARK-VISIT-TO-BURMA/TIME (MAGAZINE)>TIME, 1 December 2011, 19 November 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talk prior to dinner in Rangoon, Myanmar, 1 Dec. 2011., International relations progress indicators continued in September 2012 when Aung San Suu Kyi visited the United StatesNEWS, Myanmar's Suu Kyi begins landmark US visit,weblink News & blogging, Associated Press, Asian Correspondentlocation= Bristol, England, 17 September 2012quote= WASHINGTON (AP) â€“ Burma democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be honored in Washington this week and presented Congress's highest award, the latest milestone in her remarkable journey from political prisoner to globe-trotting stateswoman., followed by Myanmar's reformist president visit to the United Nations.NEWS, Burma's president to make historic US visit,weblink News & blogging, Associated Press, Asian Correspondentlocation= Bristol, England, 24 September 2012quote= YANGON, Myanmar (AP) â€“ Myanmar's reformist president is heading to the United States to tout his country's makeover and push for an end to sanctions, in the first U.S. visit by a leader of the former international pariah since 1966., In May 2013, Thein Sein became the first Myanmar president to visit the White House in 47 years; the last Burmese leader to visit the White House was Ne Win in September 1966. President Barack Obama praised the former general for political and economic reforms, and the cessation of tensions between Myanmar and the United States. Political activists objected to the visit due to concerns over human rights abuses in Myanmar but Obama assured Thein Sein that Myanmar will receive US support. The two leaders discussed to release more political prisoners, the institutionalisation of political reform and rule of law, and ending ethnic conflict in Myanmar—the two governments agreed to sign a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement on 21 May 2013.NEWS, Obama Vows US Support As Myanmar Leader Visits,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 21 May 2013, NPR, 20 May 2013, Associated Press, In June 2013, Myanmar held its first ever summit, the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2013. A regional spinoff of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the summit was held on 5–7 June and attended by 1,200 participants, including 10 heads of state, 12 ministers and 40 senior directors from around the world.WEB, Pheonix Voyages appointed travel manager for Myanmar's first major summit,weblink TTGmice, 29 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2013, In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including Myanmar, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region.NEWS, Which Countries Are For or Against China's Xinjiang Policies?,weblink The Diplomat, 15 July 2019,


File:Myanmar Air Force MiG-29 MRD.jpg|thumb|left|A Myanmar Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29Mikoyan MiG-29Myanmar has received extensive military aid from China in the past.NEWS, Cody, Edward,weblink Caution by Junta's Asian Neighbors Reflects Their Self-Interest, The Washington Post, 27 September 2007, 17 April 2010, Myanmar has been a member of ASEAN since 1997. Though it gave up its turn to hold the ASEAN chair and host the ASEAN Summit in 2006, it chaired the forum and hosted the summit in 2014.PRESS RELEASE,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 16 April 2016, ASEAN, 24th ASEAN Summit, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 10–11 May 2014, 4 April 2014, In November 2008, Myanmar's political situation with neighbouring Bangladesh became tense as they began searching for natural gas in a disputed block of the Bay of Bengal.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 16 April 2016, 24th ASEAN Summit, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 10–11 May 2014, ASEAN, 4 April 2014, 1 April 2016, Controversy surrounding the Rohingya population also remains an issue between Bangladesh and Myanmar.NEWS,weblink Time, For Rohingya in Bangladesh, No Place is Home, 19 February 2010, Myanmar's armed forces are known as the Tatmadaw, which numbers 488,000. The Tatmadaw comprises the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The country ranked twelfth in the world for its number of active troops in service.{{Verify source|date=September 2019}} The military is very influential in Myanmar, with all top cabinet and ministry posts usually held by military officials. Official figures for military spending are not available. Estimates vary widely because of uncertain exchange rates, but Myanmar's military forces' expenses are high.NEWS,weblink World Military Spending Topped US$1 trillion in 2004, 19 July 2006, Starck, Peter, 7 June 2005, Reuters, Common Dreams NewsCenter, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 June 2006, Myanmar imports most of its weapons from Russia, Ukraine, China and India.Myanmar is building a research nuclear reactor near Pyin Oo Lwin with help from Russia. It is one of the signatories of the nuclear non-proliferation pact since 1992 and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1957. The military junta had informed the IAEA in September 2000 of its intention to construct the reactor. The research reactor outbuilding frame was built by ELE steel industries limited of Yangon/Rangoon and water from Anisakhan/BE water fall will be used for the reactor cavity cooling system.NEWS, BBC, Russia and Burma in Nuclear Deal, 15 May 2007,weblink 28 September 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2007, NEWS, The Telegraph, Nuclear Watchdog asks Burma to Open Up Suspect Sites, 14 January 2011, Moore, Malcolm,weblink 28 September 2011, London, In 2010 as part of the Wikileaks leaked cables, Myanmar was suspected of using North Korean construction teams to build a fortified Surface-to-Air Missile facility.WEB,weblink Alleged North Korean Involvement in Missile Assembly and Underground Facility Construction in Burma, 27 August 2004,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 December 2010, Until 2005, the United Nations General Assembly annually adopted a detailed resolution about the situation in Myanmar by consensus.{{UN document |docid=A-54-PV.83 |body=General Assembly |type=Verbotim Report |session=54 |meeting=83 |page=30 |anchor=pg030-bk03 |date=17 December 1999 |meetingtime=10:00 |speakername=The President |access-date=25 September 2007 }}{{UN document |docid=A-55-PV.81 |body=General Assembly |type=Verbotim Report |session=55 |meeting=81 |page=22 |anchor=pg022-bk01 |date=4 December 2000 |meetingtime=15:00 |speakername=The President |access-date=25 September 2007 }}{{UN document |docid=A-56-PV.92 |body=General Assembly |type=Verbotim Report |session=56 |meeting=92 |page=7 |anchor=pg007-bk04 |date=24 December 2001 |meetingtime=11:00 |access-date=25 September 2007 }}{{UN document |docid=A-60-PV.69 |body=General Assembly |type=Verbotim Report |session=60 |meeting=69 |page=19 |anchor=pg019-bk05 |date=23 December 2005 |meetingtime=10:00 |speakername=The President |access-date=25 September 2007 }} But in 2006 a divided United Nations General Assembly voted through a resolution that strongly called upon the government of Myanmar to end its systematic violations of human rights.{{UN document |docid=A-61-PV.84 |body=General Assembly |type=Verbotim Report |session=61 |meeting=84 |page=14 |anchor=pg014-bk07 |date=22 December 2006 |meetingtime=10:00 |access-date=25 September 2007 }} In January 2007, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution before the United Nations Security Council{{UN document |docid=S-2007-14 |type=Document |body=Security Council |year=2007 |document_number=14 |access-date=25 September 2007| date=12 January 2007}} calling on the government of Myanmar to respect human rights and begin a democratic transition. South Africa also voted against the resolution.{{UN document |docid=S-PV-5619 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5619 |page=3 |anchor=pg003-bk01 |date=12 January 2007 |meetingtime=16:00 |speakername=Mr. Kumalo | speakernation=South Africa |access-date=25 September 2007 }}File:Conflict areas in Myanmar.png|thumb|upright=0.8|Map of conflict zones in Myanmar. States and regions affected by fighting during and after 1995 are highlighted in yellow.]]

Human rights and internal conflicts

{{Update|inaccurate=yes|date=January 2013}}There is consensus that the former military regime in Myanmar (1962–2010) was one of the world's most repressive and abusive regimes.WEB, The World's Most Repressive Regimes 2013, Freedom House, Geneva, vii–7, 2003,weblink Burma continues to be ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes., JOURNAL, Are EU Trade Sanctions on Burma Compatible With WTO Law?, Are EU Trade Sanctions on Burma Compatible with WTO Law?, Robert, Howse, Jared M. Genser, 166 ff,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 7 June 2010, 7 November 2010, repressive and abusive military regime, In November 2012, Samantha Power, Barack Obama's Special Assistant to the President on Human Rights, wrote on the White House blog in advance of the president's visit that "Serious human rights abuses against civilians in several regions continue, including against women and children." Members of the United Nations and major international human rights organisations have issued repeated and consistent reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Myanmar. The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedlyWEB, List of UN General Assembly Resolutions on Burma,weblink 4 January 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2016, called on the Burmese Military Junta to respect human rights and in November 2009 the General Assembly adopted a resolution "strongly condemning the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms" and calling on the Burmese Military Regime "to take urgent measures to put an end to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."PRESS RELEASE, UN General Assembly Resolution: Time for Concrete Action, International Federation for Human Rights, 20 November 2009,weblink 4 January 2010, International human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch,WEB,weblink Statement to the EU Development Committee, 1 September 2004, Adams, Brad, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty InternationalWEB,weblink Amnesty International 2009 Report on Human Rights in Myanmar, 4 January 2010, Adams, Brad, Amnesty International, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 September 2009, and the American Association for the Advancement of ScienceWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2008, Satellite Images Verify Myanmar Forced Relocations, Mounting Military Presence, 28 September 2007, ScienceMode, have repeatedly documented and condemned widespread human rights violations in Myanmar. The Freedom in the World 2011 report by Freedom House notes, "The military junta has ... suppressed nearly all basic rights; and committed human rights abuses with impunity." In July 2013, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners indicated that there were approximately 100 political prisoners being held in Burmese prisons.NEWS, Myanmar: Final push on political prisoners needed,weblink 19 March 2013, 27 September 2012, NEWS, Burma Frees 56 Political Prisoners,weblink 26 April 2013, Voice of America, 22 April 2013, File:Mae La refugee camp2.jpg|thumb|Mae La camp, Tak, Thailand, one of the largest of nine UNHCRUNHCREvidence gathered by a British researcher was published in 2005 regarding the extermination or 'Burmisation' of certain ethnic minorities, such as the Karen, Karenni and Shan.NEWS, Guardia, Anton La,weblink Myanmar's 'slow genocide' is revealed through the eyes of its child victims, The Telegraph, 24 June 2005, 20 November 2012, London, {{dead link|date=September 2016}}

Child soldiers

Child soldiers had played a major part in the Burmese Army until around 2012. The Independent reported in June 2012 that "Children are being sold as conscripts into the Burmese military for as little as $40 and a bag of rice or a can of petrol."NEWS, Two Burmese children a week conscripted into military, The Independent, Taylor, Jerome, 19 June 2012,weblink 15 May 2013, London, The UN's Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, who stepped down from her position a week later, met representatives of the Government of Myanmar on 5 July 2012 and stated that she hoped the government's signing of an action plan would "signal a transformation."WEB,weblink Press Conference on Action Plan to End Recruitment of Child Soldiers in Myanmar, United Nations, 5 July 2012, 6 July 2013, In September 2012, the Myanmar Armed Forces released 42 child soldiers and the International Labour Organization met with representatives of the government as well as the Kachin Independence Army to secure the release of more child soldiers.NEWS, ILO in Talks with Kachins over Child Soldiers, Weng, Lawi, The Irrawaddy, 5 September 2012,weblink 15 May 2013, According to Samantha Power, a US delegation raised the issue of child soldiers with the government in October 2012. However, she did not comment on the government's progress towards reform in this area.A Bangkok Post article on 23 December 2012 reported that the Myanmar Armed Forces continued to use child soldiers including during the army's large offensive against the KIA in December 2012.

Slavery and human trafficking

Forced labour, human trafficking, and child labour are common in Myanmar.WEB,weblink Myanmar: 10th anniversary of military repression, 14 July 2006, 7 August 1998, Amnesty International,weblink" title="">weblink 24 August 2006, The military is also notorious for rampant use of sexual violence, a practice continuing {{As of|2012|lc=y}}. In 2007 the international movement to defend women's human rights issues in Myanmar was said to be gaining speed.WEB,weblink State of Terror report, 21 May 2007, 1 February 2007, Women's League of Burma,weblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2007, dead, Human trafficking happens to most women who are unemployed and have low incomes. They are mainly targeted or deceived by brokers into making them believe that better opportunities and wages exist for them abroad.WEB,weblink The Trafficking Situation, In 2017, the government reported investigating 185 trafficking cases. The government of Burma makes little effort to eliminate human trafficking. Burmese armed forces (Tatmadaw) compel troops to acquire labour and supplies from local communities. The U.S. State Department reported that both the government and Tatmadaw were complicit in sex and labour trafficking.WEB,weblink Burma,weblink 2018-07-25, dead,

Genocide allegations and crimes against Rohingya people

File:Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State (8280610831).jpg|thumb|displaced Rohingya people of MyanmarWEB,weblink Trapped inside Myanmar's refugee camps, the Rohingya people call for recognition, The Guardian, 20 December 2012, 10 February 2015, {{dead link|date=September 2016}}NEWS, US Holocaust Museum highlights plight of Myanmar's downtrodden Rohingya Muslims,weblink 6 November 2013, Associated Press, alt={{See also|Rohingya conflict|2013 Myanmar anti-Muslim riots|2016–17 Rohingya persecution in Myanmar}}The Rohingya people have consistently faced human rights abuses by the Burmese regime that has refused to acknowledge them as Burmese citizens (despite some of them having lived in Burma for over three generations)—the Rohingya have been denied Burmese citizenship since the enactment of a 1982 citizenship law.NEWS,weblink What drive the Rohingya to sea?, BBC, 5 February 2009, 29 July 2012, Head, Jonathan, The law created three categories of citizenship: citizenship, associate citizenship, and naturalised citizenship. Citizenship is given to those who belong to one of the national races such as Kachin, Kayah (Karenni), Karen, Chin, Burman, Mon, Rakhine, Shan, Kaman, or Zerbadee. Associate citizenship is given to those who cannot prove their ancestors settled in Myanmar before 1823, but can prove they have one grandparent, or pre-1823 ancestor, who was a citizen of another country, as well as people who applied for citizenship in 1948 and qualified then by those laws. Naturalised citizenship is only given to those who have at least one parent with one of these types of Burmese citizenship or can provide "conclusive evidence" that their parents entered and resided in Burma prior to independence in 1948.{{citation | url= | title= 2000 Human Rights Report III. Discrimination in Arakan | publisher=Human Rights Watch | access-date=14 December 2014}} The Burmese regime has attempted to forcibly expel Rohingya and bring in non-Rohingyas to replace themBOOK, A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in South East Asia, Tan, Andrew T. H., Chapter 16, State Terrorism in Arakan, Islam, Syed, Islam, Serajul, Edward Elgar Publishing, 978-1-84542-543-2, 342, 2007, —this policy has resulted in the expulsion of approximately half of the 800,000NEWS,weblink Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned, The Independent, 15 September 2014, Hindstrom, Hanna, 25 July 2012, Rohingya from Burma, while the Rohingya people have been described as "among the world's least wanted"NEWS,weblink Bangladesh accused of 'crackdown' on Rohingya refugees, BBC, 18 February 2010, 29 July 2012, Dummett, Mark, and "one of the world's most persecuted minorities."NEWS,weblink Myanmar, Bangladesh leaders 'to discuss Rohingya', Agence France-Presse, 25 June 2012, 15 September 2014, NEWS,weblink The Rohingya: Unwanted at Home, Unwelcome Abroad, The Diplomat, 9 October 2012, Bento, Lucas, Yusuf, Guled, yes, But the origin of 'most persecuted minority' statement is unclear.NEWS,weblink Origin of 'most persecuted minority' statement unclear, 8 July 2013, Tim MclaughLin, Rohingya are also not allowed to travel without official permission, are banned from owning land and are required to sign a commitment to have no more than two children. As of July 2012, the Myanmar Government does not include the Rohingya minority group—classified as stateless Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh since 1982—on the government's list of more than 130 ethnic races and, therefore, the government states that they have no claim to Myanmar citizenship.NEWS,weblink Rohingyas are not citizens: Myanmar minister, 30 July 2012, Chennai, India, The Hindu, In 2007 the German professor Bassam Tibi suggested that the Rohingya conflict may be driven by an Islamist political agenda to impose religious laws,BOOK, Bassam, T, 2007, Political Islam, World Politics and Europe: Democratic Peace and EuroIslam versus Global Jihad, New York, Routledge, while non-religious causes have also been raised, such as a lingering resentment over the violence that occurred during the Japanese occupation of Burma in World War II—during this time period the British allied themselves with the RohingyaBOOK, Defeat into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942–1945, Slim, William, 2009, Pan, London, 978-0-330-50997-8, and fought against the puppet government of Burma (composed mostly of Bamar Japanese) that helped to establish the Tatmadaw military organisation that remains in power as of March 2013.Since the democratic transition began in 2011, there has been continuous violence as 280 people have been killed and 140,000 forced to flee from their homes in the Rakhine state.NEWS, Exodus grows as Muslim Rohingya flee persecution in Myanmar homeland,weblink 14 December 2014, Japan Times, 18 November 2014, A UN envoy reported in March 2013 that unrest had re-emerged between Myanmar's Buddhist and Muslim communities, with violence spreading to towns that are located closer to Yangon.NEWS, 'Brutal efficiency' in Myanmar attacks: UN,weblink 27 March 2013, The Australian, 27 March 2013, Australian Associated Press,

Rohingya left by boat

{{Update section|date=August 2015}}{{Further|2015 Rohingya refugee crisis}}The Rohingya have been leaving the Rakhine State by boat in search for jobs in Malaysia these recent years. Often, the boats are very small and dangerous on the open seas. An estimated 100,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in the last two years in fear of persecution and violence.NEWS,weblink 2015 Report on Myanmar, UNHCR, 2014, 13 December 2014, They have been fleeing to Thailand, Malaysia, or even Australia for refuge. Over 200 have died in recent years and over 7,000 have been held in detention centres even after surviving the boat trip.NEWS,weblink Four killed as Rohingya Muslims riot in Myanmar: government, Reuters, 8 June 2012, 9 June 2012, NEWS,weblink UN Reports Increase in Boat People Fleeing Myanmar, Bangladesh, Voice of America, 24 August 2014, 15 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 14 September 2014, dead,

2012 Rakhine State riots

A widely publicised Burmese conflict was the 2012 Rakhine State riots, a series of conflicts that primarily involved the ethnic Rakhine Buddhist people and the Rohingya Muslim people in the northern Rakhine State—an estimated 90,000 people were displaced as a result of the riots.NEWS, Burma unrest: UN body says 90,000 displaced by violence,weblink 27 March 2013, BBC News, 20 June 2012, The immediate cause of the riots is unclear, with many commentators citing the killing of ten Burmese Muslims by ethnic Rakhine after the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman as the main cause.NEWS, Lauras, Didier, Myanmar stung by global censure over unrest,weblink 15 September 2012, Agence France-Presse in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 September 2012, Whole villages have been "decimated". Over 300 houses and a number of public buildings have been razed. According to Tun Khin, the president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), as of 28 June 2012, 650 Rohingyas have been killed, 1,200 are missing, and more than 80,000 have been displaced.NEWS, UN refugee agency redeploys staff to address humanitarian needs in Myanmar, UN News, 29 June 2012,weblink 29 June 2012, According to the Myanmar authorities, the violence, between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, left 78 people dead, 87 injured, and thousands of homes destroyed. It displaced more than 52,000 people.The government has responded by imposing curfews and by deploying troops in the regions. On 10 June 2012, a state of emergency was declared in Rakhine, allowing the military to participate in administration of the region.NEWS,weblink my:အ႘ရး႘ပၚအ႘ျခအ႘န ႘ၾကညာခ်က႙ ႏုိင႙ငံ႘ရးသမားမ်ား ႘ထာက႙ခံ, The Irrawaddy, 11 June 2012, 11 June 2012, Htet, Linn, NEWS, Fergal, Keane, Fergal Keane, Old tensions bubble in Burma,weblink BBC News, 11 June 2012, 11 June 2012, The Burmese army and police have been accused of targeting Rohingya Muslims through mass arrests and arbitrary violence.NEWS, Hindstorm, Hanna, Burmese authorities targeting Rohingyas, UK parliament told,weblink 9 July 2012, 28 June 2012, Democratic Voice of Burma, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 17 July 2012, UN focuses on Myanmar amid Muslim plight, 13 July 2012, Press TV, 13 July 2012, A number of monks' organisations that played a vital role in Myanmar's struggle for democracy have taken measures to block any humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya community.NEWS, Hindstorm, Hanna, Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned,weblink 25 July 2012, 25 July 2012, The Independent, London,

Freedom of speech

Media censorship was significantly eased in August 2012 following demonstrations by hundreds of protesters who wore shirts demanding that the government "Stop Killing the Press."NEWS, Roughneen, Simon,weblink MediaShift. In Myanmar, a Delicate Balance for New Freedoms of Speech, PBS, 15 August 2012, 20 November 2012, {{dead link|date=September 2016}} The most significant change has come in the form that media organisations will no longer have to submit their content to a censorship board before publication. However, as explained by one editorial in the exiled press The Irrawaddy, this new "freedom" has caused some Burmese journalists to simply see the new law as an attempt to create an environment of self-censorship as journalists "are required to follow 16 guidelines towards protecting the three national causes:
  • non-disintegration of the Union,
  • non-disintegration of national solidarity,
  • perpetuation of sovereignty,
and "journalistic ethics" to ensure their stories are accurate and do not jeopardise national security."In July 2014 five journalists were sentenced to 10 years in jail after publishing a report saying the country was planning to build a new chemical weapons plant. Journalists described the jailings as a blow to the recently-won news media freedoms that had followed five decades of censorship and persecution.NEWS, Report on chemical weapons earn Myanmar journalists jail term with hard labour,weblink 11 July 2014, Myanmar News.Net,weblink" title="">weblink 14 July 2014, dead, Two Reuters journalists were charged and imprisoned on 12 December 2017, for violating state secrets law when they were covering the mass exodus of the Rohingya Muslim minority.Eltagouri, Marwa. (13 December 2017). "Two journalists covering Rohingya crisis in Burma arrested for possessing ‘secret papers’". Washington Post website. Retrieved 13 December 2017.

Praise for the 2011 government reforms

According to the Crisis Group,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2 December 2012, Major Reform Underway, Crisis Group, 22 September 2011, 29 August 2011, since Myanmar transitioned to a new government in August 2011, the country's human rights record has been improving. Previously giving Myanmar its lowest rating of 7, the 2012 Freedom in the World report also notes improvement, giving Myanmar a 6 for improvements in civil liberties and political rights, the release of political prisoners, and a loosening of restrictions.WEB, Freedom in the World 2012: Burma,weblink Freedom House, 4 February 2012, In 2013, Myanmar improved yet again, receiving a score of five in civil liberties and a six in political freedoms.WEB, Burma,weblink 22 November 2013, Freedom House, 2013, The government has assembled a National Human Rights Commission that consists of 15 members from various backgrounds.NEWS,weblink Burma gets rights commission, Australia Network News, 7 September 2011, 29 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 September 2011, Several activists in exile, including Thee Lay Thee Anyeint members, have returned to Myanmar after President Thein Sein's invitation to expatriates to return home to work for national development.NEWS,weblink Anyeint group returns from exile in Thailand, MM Times, 19–25 September 2011, 29 August 2011, Kyaw Hsu, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2011, In an address to the United Nations Security Council on 22 September 2011, Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin confirmed the government's intention to release prisoners in the near future.NEWS,weblink Burma flags mass release of political prisoners, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2011, 29 August 2011, Murdoch, Lindsay, The government has also relaxed reporting laws, but these remain highly restrictive.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 29 July 2012, Free press is the key to Myanmar reform, Agence France-Presse, 20 September 2011, 29 August 2011, In September 2011, several banned websites, including YouTube, Democratic Voice of Burma and Voice of America, were unblocked.NEWS,weblink Burmese junta relaxes access to foreign websites, The Independent, London, 17 September 2011, 29 August 2011, Buncombe, Andrew, A 2011 report by the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations found that, while contact with the Myanmar government was constrained by donor restrictions, international humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) see opportunities for effective advocacy with government officials, especially at the local level. At the same time, international NGOs are mindful of the ethical quandary of how to work with the government without bolstering or appeasing it.weblink" title="">Working Through Ambiguity: International NGOs in Myanmar. Soubhik Ronnie Saha The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Harvard University September 2011

2013 onwards

(File:Kutupalong Refugee Camp (John Owens-VOA).jpg|thumb|A Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh|alt=)Following Thein Sein's first ever visit to the UK and a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Myanmar president declared that all of his nation's political prisoners will be released by the end of 2013, in addition to a statement of support for the well-being of the Rohingya Muslim community. In a speech at Chatham House, he revealed that "We [Myanmar government] are reviewing all cases. I guarantee to you that by the end of this year, there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.", in addition to expressing a desire to strengthen links between the UK and Myanmar's military forces.NEWS, No more political prisoners: Myanmar,weblink 16 July 2013, The Australian, 16 July 2013, Woodcock, Andrew, Homosexual acts are illegal in Myanmar and can be punishable by life imprisonment.WEB,weblink LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds, The Independent, 17 May 2016, WEB, State Sponsored Homophobia 2016: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition,weblink International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 17 May 2016, In 2016, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was accused of failing to protect Myanmar's Muslim minority."Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi accused of 'legitimising genocide of Rohingya Muslims'". The Independent. 25 November 2016. Since August 2017 Doctors Without Borders have treated 113 Rohingya refugee females for sexual assault with all but one describing military assailants.AP News. (12 December 2017). "Army's rape of Rohingya women sweeping, methodical: AP". Al Jazeera website. Retrieved 12 December 2017. The 2017 persecution against the Rohingya Muslims has been termed as ethnic cleansing and genocide by various UN agencies, International Criminal Court officials, and governments.WEB, Westcott, Ben, Koran, Laura, Tillerson: Myanmar clearly 'ethnic cleansing' the Rohingya,weblink CNN, WEB, AP finds mass graves, latest evidence of Rohingya genocide in Myanmar,weblink, More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees has fled to Bangladesh since August 2017.NEWS, Myanmar Rohingya: What you need to know about the crisis,weblink BBC News, 24 April 2018,

Nuclear weapons programme

{{Update|section|inaccurate=yes|date=October 2014}}There has been speculation that Myanmar is interested in developing nuclear weapons, and that North Korea was planning to export nuclear technology to Myanmar.NEWS, Expert says Myanmar 'planning nuclear bomb',weblink Democratic Voice of Myanmar, 3 June 2010, {{dead link|date=September 2016}}Myanmar's nuclear secrets, The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 August 2009. These reports are based on evidence gathered from anti-government Burmese. Myanmar is a signatory to a special ASEAN treaty that bans all types of nuclear weapons in signatory states in Southeast Asia.NEWS, Myanmar 'trying to build nuclear weapon',weblink BBC News, 4 June 2010, WEB,weblink Revealed,

Combating climate change

Previously and currently analyzed data, as well as future projections on changes caused by climate change predict serious consequences to development for all economic, productive, social, and environmental sectors in Myanmar.WEB,weblink Impact of Climate Change and the Case of Myanmar {{!, Myanmar Climate Change Alliance||language=en-GB |access-date= 2 December 2018}} In order to combat the hardships ahead and do its part to help combat climate change Myanmar has displayed interest in expanding its use of renewable energy and lowering its level of carbon emissions. Groups involved in helping Myanmar with the transition and move forward include the UN Environment Programme, Myanmar Climate Change Alliance, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation which directed in producing the final draft of the Myanmar national climate change policy that was presented to various sectors of the Myanmar government for review.NEWS,weblink National climate change policy finalised, The Myanmar Times, 2018-10-18, en, In April 2015, it was announced that the World Bank and Myanmar would enter a full partnership framework aimed to better access to electricity and other basic services for about six million people and expected to benefit three million pregnant woman and children through improved health services.NEWS,weblink Millions to Benefit from Myanmar's New Partnership Framework With the World Bank Group, World Bank, 2018-12-02, en, Acquired funding and proper planning has allowed Myanmar to better prepare for the impacts of climate change by enacting programs which teach its people new farming methods, rebuild its infrastructure with materials resilient to natural disasters, and transition various sectors towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.WEB, Myanmar Climate Change Policy,weblink, {{Dead link|date=August 2019 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}


{{Further|Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia)|Transport in Myanmar|Oil and gas industry in Myanmar}}(File:Myanmar treemap.png|thumb|upright=2.05|A proportional representation of Burma's exports.)Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement and isolation. The lack of an educated workforce skilled in modern technology hinders Myanmar's economy, although recent reforms and developments carried out by the new government, in collaboration with foreign countries and organisations, aim to make this a thing of the past.BOOK, Ian, Brown, 2005, A Colonial Economy in Crisis, Routledge, 978-0-415-30580-8, The informal economy's share in Myanmar is one of the biggest in the world and is closely linked to corruption, smuggling and illegal trade activities.Stokke, Kristian; Vakulchuk, Roman and Indra Overland (2018) Myanmar: A Political Economy Analysis. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). Report commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Myanmar lacks adequate infrastructure. Goods travel primarily across the Thai border (where most illegal drugs are exported) and along the Irrawaddy River. Railways are old and rudimentary, with few repairs since their construction in the late 19th century.WEB,weblink Challenges to Democratization in Burma, 12 July 2006, November 2001, International IDEA, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2006, Highways are normally unpaved, except in the major cities.In 2010–2011, Bangladesh exported products worth $9.65 million to Myanmar against its import of $179 million.NEWS, Ahmed, Hafez,weblink Myanmar President due July 15,, 25 June 2012, 17 August 2012, The annual import of medicine and medical equipment to Myanmar during the 2000s was 160 million USD.NEWS,weblink Only under-license medicine to be produced in Myanmar, 10 January 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2012, In recent years, both China and India have attempted to strengthen ties with the government for economic benefit. Many nations, including the United States and Canada, and the European Union, have imposed investment and trade sanctions on Myanmar. The United States and European Union eased most of their sanctions in 2012.NEWS, Hargreaves, Steve,weblink Myanmar: Tales from the last business frontier, CNN, 18 June 2013, 6 July 2013, Foreign investment comes primarily from China, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, India, and Thailand.NEWS, David, Fullbrook,weblink So long US, hello China, India, Asia Times, 4 November 2004, 14 July 2006, (File:Rijstvelden Myanmar 2006.jpg|thumb|Rice is Myanmar's largest agricultural product.)

Economic history

Under British administration, Myanmar was the second-wealthiest country in South-East Asia. It had been the world's largest exporter of rice. Myanmar also had a wealth of natural and labour resources. British Burma began exporting crude oil in 1853, making it one of the earliest petroleum producers in the world.WEB,weblink Total in Myanmar : commitment and responsability(sic), Total, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2015, It produced 75% of the world's teak and had a highly literate population. The wealth was however, mainly concentrated in the hands of Europeans. In the 1930s, agricultural production fell dramatically as international rice prices declined, and did not recover for several decades.JOURNAL,weblink SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, 1, 1, Spring 2003, 1479-8484, The Burma Development Disaster in Comparative Historical Perspective, Booth, Anne, Plans to broaden the new prosperity and extend the reach of modern civilization were halted by the outbreak of the Second World War.During the Japanese invasion of the area in World War II, the British followed a scorched earth policy. They destroyed the major government buildings, oil wells and mines for tungsten, tin, lead and silver to keep them from the Japanese. Myanmar was bombed extensively by both sides. After independence, the country was in ruins with its major infrastructure completely destroyed. The British then granted independence to the colony, and handed over their plans to rebuild to the new government. After a parliamentary government was formed in 1948, Prime Minister U Nu embarked upon a policy of nationalisation and the state was declared the owner of all land. The government also tried to implement a poorly considered Eight-Year plan. By the 1950s, rice exports had fallen by two-thirds and mineral exports by over 96% (as compared to the pre-World War II period). Plans were partly financed by printing money, which led to inflation.WEB,weblink Political and Economic History of Myanmar (Burma) Economics, 8 July 2006, Watkins, Thayer, San Jose State University, The 1962 coup d'état was followed by an economic scheme called the Burmese Way to Socialism, a plan to nationalise all industries, with the exception of agriculture. The catastrophic programme turned Myanmar into one of the world's most impoverished countries. Myanmar's admittance to least developed country status by the UN in 1987 highlighted its economic bankruptcy.WEB, 2005,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 October 2013, List of Least Developed Countries, UN-OHRLLS, In Myanmar, political and economic ideological struggles have affected living standards. Decades of civil war and unrest have contributed to Myanmar's current levels of poverty and lack of economic progress. Improving basic human, social and economic infrastructure required to advance individual living standards have not received focused government efforts.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 297, 978-1-107-50718-0,


{{Further|Agriculture in Myanmar}}The major agricultural product is rice, which covers about 60% of the country's total cultivated land area. Rice accounts for 97% of total food grain production by weight. Through collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute 52 modern rice varieties were released in the country between 1966 and 1997, helping increase national rice production to 14 million tons in 1987 and to 19 million tons in 1996. By 1988, modern varieties were planted on half of the country's ricelands, including 98 percent of the irrigated areas.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 September 2005, Myanmar and IRRI,  {{small|(21.2 KB)}}, Facts About Cooperation, International Rice Research Institute. Retrieved 25 September 2007. In 2008 rice production was estimated at 50 million tons.WEB,weblink Faostat,, 17 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 July 2011,

Drug production

Myanmar is also the world's second largest producer of opium, accounting for 25% of entire world production and is a major source of illegal drugs, including amphetamines.WEB,weblink Myanmar Country Profile, 9 July 2006, December 2005, Office on Drugs and Crime, 5–6, United Nations, Opium bans implemented since 2002 after international pressure have left ex-poppy farmers without sustainable sources of income in the Kokang and Wa regions. They depend on casual labour for income.Drug Policy Briefing nr.29 of the Transnational Institute.

Natural resources

Myanmar produces precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, pearls, and jade. Rubies are the biggest earner; 90% of the world's rubies come from the country, whose red stones are prized for their purity and hue. Thailand buys the majority of the country's gems. Myanmar's "Valley of Rubies", the mountainous Mogok area, {{convert|200|km|mi|abbr=on}} north of Mandalay, is noted for its rare pigeon's blood rubies and blue sapphires.WEB,weblink Gems of Burma and their Environmental Impact,, 20 November 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 May 2010, Many US and European jewellery companies, including Bulgari, Tiffany and Cartier, refuse to import these stones based on reports of deplorable working conditions in the mines. Human Rights Watch has encouraged a complete ban on the purchase of Burmese gems based on these reports and because nearly all profits go to the ruling junta, as the majority of mining activity in the country is government-run.NEWS,weblink Burma: Gem Trade Bolsters Military Regime, Fuels Atrocities, Human Rights Watch, 11 November 2007, The government of Myanmar controls the gem trade by direct ownership or by joint ventures with private owners of mines.NEWS, Ferro, Shane, 19 July 2011,weblink Burmese Gem Emporium Rakes in $1.5 Billion Despite Human Rights Abuse Concerns, Blouin ARTINFO, 15 May 2013, Other industries include agricultural goods, textiles, wood products, construction materials, gems, metals, oil and natural gas.Myanmar Engineering Society has identified at least 39 locations capable of geothermal power production and some of these hydrothermal reservoirs lie quite close to Yangon which is a significant underutilized resource for electrical production.{{Citation| last=DuByne| first=David| title= Geothermal Energy in Myanmar Securing Electricity for Eastern Border Development | journal=Myanmar Business Today Magazine |date=November 2015| url=|pages=6–8}}


(File:Tourists in Myanmar (8397039153).jpg|thumb|Tourists in Myanmar)File:Inle Lake Burma Resort 1.jpg|thumb|Stilt houses at Inle LakeInle LakeSince 1992, the government has encouraged tourism in the country; however, fewer than 270,000 tourists entered the country in 2006 according to the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board.WEB, Visitors By Nationalities,weblink, 4 August 2013, Myanmar's Minister of Hotels and Tourism Saw Lwin has stated that the government receives a significant percentage of the income of private sector tourism services.WEB, Enescu, Raluca,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 30 April 2011, Burma Digest,, 24 December 2006, The most popular available tourist destinations in Myanmar include big cities such as Yangon and Mandalay; religious sites in Mon State, Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An; nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, Pyin Oo Lwin; ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U; as well as beaches in Nabule,WEB,weblink Southern Myanmar, Tourist Destinations,, 20 May 2015, Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui.WEB,weblink Myanmar Travel Agency, Tourist Destinations,, 20 October 2013, Nevertheless, much of the country is off-limits to tourists, and interactions between foreigners and the people of Myanmar, particularly in the border regions, are subject to police scrutiny. They are not to discuss politics with foreigners, under penalty of imprisonment and, in 2001, the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board issued an order for local officials to protect tourists and limit "unnecessary contact" between foreigners and ordinary Burmese people.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 29 April 2009, The Tourism Campaign â€“ Campaigns, The Burma Campaign UK, 17 April 2010, The most common way for travellers to enter the country seems to be by air.WEB, Getting there & away,weblink, 4 August 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2013, According to the website Lonely Planet, getting into Myanmar is problematic: "No bus or train service connects Myanmar with another country, nor can you travel by car or motorcycle across the border â€“ you must walk across." They further state that "It is not possible for foreigners to go to/from Myanmar by sea or river." There are a small number of border crossings that allow the passage of private vehicles, such as the border between Ruili (China) to Mu-se, the border between Htee Kee (Myanmar) and Phu Nam Ron (Thailand)—the most direct border between Dawei and Kanchanaburi, and the border between Myawaddy (Myanmar) and Mae Sot (Thailand). At least one tourist company has successfully run commercial overland routes through these borders since 2013.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, Dragoman, 29 January 2015, "From Mae Sai (Thailand) you can cross to Tachileik, but can only go as far as Kengtung. Those in Thailand on a visa run can cross to Kawthaung but cannot venture farther into Myanmar."Flights are available from most countries, though direct flights are limited to mainly Thai and other ASEAN airlines. According to Eleven magazine, "In the past, there were only 15 international airlines and increasing numbers of airlines have begun launching direct flights from Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and Singapore."WEB, International airlines to open direct flights to Myanmar,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2013, 2 August 2013, Expansions were expected in September 2013, but yet again are mainly Thai and other Asian-based airlines according to Eleven Media Group's Eleven, "Thailand-based Nok Air and Business Airlines and Singapore-based Tiger Airline".

Economic sanctions

The Government of Myanmar was under economic sanctions by the US Treasury Department (31 CFR Part 537, 16 August 2005)BOOK, Federal Register August 16, 2005, U.S. Department of the Treasury,weblink 31 CFR Part 537, 4 August 2013, 16 August 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2012, dead, and by Executive orders 13047 (1997),WEB, Burma Sanctions,weblink Resource Center, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 4 August 2013, 24 July 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2013, dead, 13310 (2003), 13448 (2007), 13464 (2008), and the most recent, 13619 (2012).JOURNAL, Federal Register, 13 July 2012, 77, 135, 41243–41245, Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Burma,weblink 4 August 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 12 October 2012, dead, There exists debate as to the extent to which the American-led sanctions have had more adverse effects on the civilian population than on the military rulers.NEWS, Hiatt, Fred,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 20 April 2011, How Best to Rid the World of Monsters, The Washington Post, 23 June 2003, 24 May 2006, NEWS,weblink Reuters Belgian group seeks Total boycott over Myanmar, Ibiblio, Reuters, 10 May 1999, 24 June 2006, From May 2012 to February 2013, the United States began to lift its economic sanctions on Myanmar "in response to the historic reforms that have been taking place in that country."WEB, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers,weblink U.S. Department of the Treasury, 4 August 2013, 18 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 July 2013, Sanctions remain in place for blocked banksWEB, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers,weblink U.S. Department of the Treasury, 4 August 2013, 18 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 July 2013, and for any business entities that are more than 50% owned by persons on "OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list (SDN list)".WEB, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers,weblink U.S. Department of the Treasury, 4 August 2013, 18 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 July 2013, During her first official visit to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with US President Barack Obama, who announced that long-standing trade sanctions against Myanmar are to be lifted, adding, "It is the right thing to do to ensure the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business, and a new government."weblink, BBC News Services. Retrieved 30 September 2016

Government stakeholders in business

The military has the majority stakeholder position in all of the major industrial corporations of the country (from oil production and consumer goods to transportation and tourism).NEWS,weblink Myanmar military in the money, McCartan, Brian, 28 February 2012, Asia Times, 30 September 2012, NEWS,weblink Boom Days in Burma, Brady, Brendan, 7 September 2012, Newsweek, 30 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 September 2012,

Economic liberalisation, post–2011

In March 2012, a draft foreign investment law emerged, the first in more than 2 decades. Foreigners will no longer need a local partner to start a business in the country, and will be able to legally lease but not own property.NEWS,weblink Exclusive: Myanmar drafts new foreign investment rules, Aung Hla Htun, 16 March 2012, Reuters, 17 March 2012, The draft law also stipulates that Burmese citizens must constitute at least 25% of the firm's skilled workforce, and with subsequent training, up to 50–75%.In 2012, the Asian Development Bank formally began re-engaging with the country, to finance infrastructure and development projects in the country.NEWS,weblink ADB Preparing First Myanmar Projects in 25 Years as Thein Opens, Yap, Karl Lester M., 1 March 2012, Bloomberg L.P., 15 March 2012, The United States, Japan, and the European Union countries have also begun to reduce or eliminate economic sanctions to allow foreign direct investment which will provide the Burmese government with additional tax revenue.NEWS, Holmes, Sam,weblink Myanmar Awaits Sanction-Lift Effect â€“, The Wall Street Journal, 28 September 2012, 6 July 2013, In December 2014, Myanmar signed an agreement to set up its first stock exchange. The Yangon Stock Exchange Joint Venture Co. Ltd will be set up with Myanma Economic Bank sharing 51%, Japan's Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd 30.25% and Japan Exchange Group 18.75%. The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) officially opened for business on Friday, 25 March 2016. First Myanmar Investment Co., Ltd. (FMI) became the first stock to be traded after receiving approval for an opening price of 26,000 kyats ($22).NEWS,weblink 25 March 2016, The New York Times, Yangon Stock Exchange Formally Opens for Business, 25 March 2016,

Units of measurement

According to The World Factbook, Myanmar is one of three countries along with Liberia and the United States that has not adopted the International System of Units (SI) metric system as their official system of weights and measures.WEB,weblink Appendix G: Weights and Measures, The World Factbook,, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 23 August 2017, The common units of measure are unique to Myanmar, but the government web pages generally use both imperial unitsWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2013, Ministry of Agriculture and Information, 2009–2010, Web Page, Myanmar Agriculture, 10 May 2010, and metric units.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2013, About Myanmar : Geography, 2009, Web Page, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 May 2010, In June 2011, the Burmese government's Ministry of Commerce began discussing proposals to reform the measurement system and adopt the International System of Units used by most of its trading partners.NEWS,weblink Ditch the viss, govt urges traders, Gyi, Ko Ko, 18 July 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2012, In October 2013 it was reported that Dr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister for Commerce, had announced that the country was preparing to adopt the International System of Units.WEB,weblink Myanmar to adopt metric system, 10 October 2013,, 27 March 2014,



File:Downtownflatsyangon.jpg|thumb|A block of flats in down-town Yangon, facing Bogyoke MarketBogyoke Market{|class="wikitable" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px"! colspan="4" style="text-align:center; background:#cfb;"|Population{{UN_Population|ref}}! style="background:#cfb;"|Year! style="background:#cfb;"|Million1950 style="text-align:right;"|17.12000 style="text-align:right;"|46.1{{UN_Population{{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN_PopulationR}}/1e6 round 1}}(File:Bevölkerungspyramide Myanmar 2016.png|thumb|Population pyramid 2016)The provisional results of the 2014 Myanmar Census show that the total population is 51,419,420.JOURNAL, Spoorenberg, Thomas, 2015, Provisional results of the 2014 census of Myanmar: The surprise that wasn't, Asian Population Studies, 11, 1, 4–6, 10.1080/17441730.2014.972084, This figure includes an estimated 1,206,353 persons in parts of northern Rakhine State, Kachin State and Kayin State who were not counted.JOURNAL, Spoorenberg, Thomas, 2015, Myanmar's first census in more than 30 years: A radical revision of the official population count, Population & Societies, No. 527, November, 1–4,weblink People who were out of the country at the time of the census are not included in these figures. There are over 600,000 registered migrant workers from Myanmar in Thailand, and millions more work illegally. Burmese migrant workers account for 80% of Thailand's migrant workers.WEB,weblink Thailand: The Plight of Burmese Migrant Workers, 13 July 2006, 8 June 2006, Amnesty International,weblink" title="">weblink 26 June 2006, Population density is {{convert|76|/km2}}, among the lowest in Southeast Asia.Myanmar's fertility rate {{As of|2011|lc=y}} is 2.23, which is slightly above replacement level and is low compared to Southeast Asian countries of similar economic standing, such Cambodia (3.18) and Laos (4.41). There has been a significant decline in fertility, from a rate of 4.7 children per woman in 1983, down to 2.4 in 2001, despite the absence of any national population policy.JOURNAL, Jones, Gavin W., 2007, Delayed Marriage and Very Low Fertility in Pacific Asia, Population and Development Review, 33, 3, 453–478,weblinkweblink dead, 9 March 2011, 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00180.x, 5 January 2015, JOURNAL, Spoorenberg, Thomas, 2013, Demographic changes in Myanmar since 1983: An examination of official data, Population and Development Review, 39, 2, 309–324, 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00593.x, JOURNAL, Myat, 2008, The Economic Position of Women in Burma, Asian Studies Review, 24, 2, 243–255, 10.1111/1467-8403.00076, 2019-08-20, The fertility rate is much lower in urban areas.The relatively rapid decline in fertility is attributed to several factors, including extreme delays in marriage (almost unparalleled among developing countries in the region), the prevalence of illegal abortions, and the high proportion of single, unmarried women of reproductive age, with 25.9% of women aged 30–34 and 33.1% of men and women aged 25–34 single.WorldMarriage Patterns 2000. United NationsThese patterns stem from economic dynamics. The economic hardship, which results in the delay of marriage and family-building; the average age of marriage in Myanmar is 27.5 for men, 26.4 for women.

Largest cities

{{Further|List of cities in Myanmar}}{{Largest cities of Myanmar}}

Ethnic groups

{{bar box|title=Ethnic Composition in Burma(rough estimate)|titlebar=#ddd|width=|left1=Ethnic group|right1=Percent|float=right|bars={{bar percent|Bamar|orange|68}}{{bar percent|Shan|blue|10}}{{bar percent|Karen|green|7}}{{bar percent|Rakhine|yellow|3.5}}{{bar percent|Han-Chinese|purple|3}}{{bar percent|Mon|red|2}}{{bar percent|Kachin|black|1.5}}{{bar percent|Indians|violet|2}}{{bar percent|Chin|brown|1}}{{bar percent|Kayah|lime|0.8}}{{bar percent|Other groups|cyan|5}}}}(File:Ethnolinguistic map of Burma 1972 en.svg|thumb|Ethnolinguistic Groups of Burma/Myanmar|alt=)Myanmar is ethnically diverse. The government recognizes 135 distinct ethnic groups. There are at least 108 different ethnolinguistic groups in Myanmar, consisting mainly of distinct Tibeto-Burman peoples, but with sizable populations of Tai–Kadai, Hmong–Mien, and Austroasiatic (Mon–Khmer) peoples.WEB,weblink Languages of Myanmar, 13 January 2007, Gordon, Raymond G., Jr., 2005, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition, SIL International, The Bamar form an estimated 68% of the population.WEB,weblink Background Note: Burma, 7 July 2006, August 2005, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State,weblink 22 January 2017, dead, 10% of the population are Shan. The Kayin make up 7% of the population. The Rakhine people constitute 4% of the population. Overseas Chinese form approximately 3% of the population.BOOK, Than, Mya, Suryadinata, Leo, 1997, Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians, Myanmar's ethnic minority groups prefer the term "ethnic nationality" over "ethnic minority" as the term "minority" furthers their sense of insecurity in the face of what is often described as "Burmanisation"—the proliferation and domination of the dominant Bamar culture over minority cultures.Mon, who form 2% of the population, are ethno-linguistically related to the Khmer. Overseas Indians are 2%. The remainder are Kachin, Chin, Rohingya, Anglo-Indians, Gurkha, Nepali and other ethnic minorities. Included in this group are the Anglo-Burmese. Once forming a large and influential community, the Anglo-Burmese left the country in steady streams from 1958 onwards, principally to Australia and the UK. It is estimated that 52,000 Anglo-Burmese remain in Myanmar. {{As of|2009}}, 110,000 Burmese refugees were living in refugee camps in Thailand.NEWS, Kato, Mariko,weblink Myanmar refugees to try resettling, Japan Times, 18 February 2009, 6 August 2014, Refugee camps exist along Indian, Bangladeshi and Thai borders while several thousand are in Malaysia. Conservative estimates state that there are over 295,800 minority refugees from Myanmar, with the majority being Rohingya, Karen, and Karenni are principally located along the Thai-Myanmar border.WEB,weblink Myanmar Refugees in South East Asia, 13 July 2006, April 2006, PDF, UNHCR, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 June 2006, There are nine permanent refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border, most of which were established in the mid-1980s. The refugee camps are under the care of the Thai-Burma Border Consortium (TBBC). Since 2006,NEWS,weblink From tropical Burma to Syracuse, refugees adjust, CBS News, 25 April 2012, 20 November 2012, over 55,000 Burmese refugees have been resettled in the United States."weblink" title="">Office Of Refugee Resettlement: Data". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The persecution of Burmese Indians, Burmese Chinese and other ethnic groups after the military coup headed by General Ne Win in 1962 led to the expulsion or emigration of 300,000 people.BOOK, Smith, Martin, 1991, Burma â€“ Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity, Zed Books, London, New Jersey, 43–44, 98, 56–57, 176, They migrated to escape racial discrimination and the wholesale nationalisation of private enterprise that took place in 1964.NEWS,weblink Asians v. Asians., Time, 17 July 1964, 20 November 2012, {{subscription required}} The Anglo-Burmese at this time either fled the country or changed their names and blended in with the broader Burmese society.Many Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar. Many refugees headed to neighbouring Bangladesh, including 200,000 in 1978 as a result of the King Dragon operation in Arakan.NEWS,weblink Burma's Muslim Rohingyas â€“ The New Boat People., Marwaan, Macan-Markar,,weblink" title="">weblink 11 March 2009, 6 August 2014, 250,000 more left in 1991.NEWS, Ford, Peter,weblink Why deadly race riots could rattle Myanmar's fledgling reforms, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 June 2012, 6 August 2014,


Myanmar is home to four major language families: Sino-Tibetan, Tai–Kadai, Austro-Asiatic, and Indo-European.WEB,weblink Languages of Myanmar, 14 July 2006, Gordon, Raymond G., Jr., 2005, SIL International, Sino-Tibetan languages are most widely spoken. They include Burmese, Karen, Kachin, Chin, and Chinese (mainly Hokkien). The primary Tai–Kadai language is Shan. Mon, Palaung, and Wa are the major Austroasiatic languages spoken in Myanmar. The two major Indo-European languages are Pali, the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism, and English.WEB,weblink Language Family Trees: Sino-Tibetan, 9 July 2006, Gordon, Raymond G., Jr., 2005, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition, SIL International, More than a hundred languages are spoken in total. Since many of them are known only within small tribes around the country, they may have been lost (many if not all) after a few generations.Burmese, the mother tongue of the Bamar and official language of Myanmar, is related to Tibetan and Chinese. It is written in a script consisting of circular and semi-circular letters, which were adapted from the Mon script, which in turn was developed from a southern Indian script in the 5th century. The earliest known inscriptions in the Burmese script date from the 11th century. It is also used to write Pali, the sacred language of Theravada Buddhism, as well as several ethnic minority languages, including Shan, several Karen dialects, and Kayah (Karenni), with the addition of specialised characters and diacritics for each language.WEB,weblink Proposal for encoding characters for Myanmar minority languages in the UCS, 9 July 2006, 2 April 2006, International Organization for Standardization, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2006, The Burmese language incorporates widespread usage of honorifics and is age-oriented. Burmese society has traditionally stressed the importance of education. In villages, secular schooling often takes place in monasteries. Secondary and tertiary education take place at government schools.


{{bar box|title=Religion in Burma (2014 Myanmar Census)Based on the estimated overall population, including both the enumerated and non-enumerated population (51,486,253), and on the assumption that the non-enumerated population in Rakhine State affiliate with the Islamic faith.|float=right|bars={{bar percent|Buddhism|Yellow|87.9}}{{bar percent|Christianity|DodgerBlue|6.2}}{{bar percent|Islam|Green|4.3}}{{bar percent|Tribal religions|Chartreuse|0.8}}{{bar percent|Hinduism|Orange|0.5}}{{bar percent|Others|Crimson|0.2}}{{bar percent|No religion|Black|0.1}}}}Many religions are practised in Myanmar. Religious edifices and orders have been in existence for many years. Festivals can be held on a grand scale. The Christian and Muslim populations do, however, face religious persecution and it is hard, if not impossible, for non-Buddhists to join the army or get government jobs, the main route to success in the country."Ethnic and Religious Diversity: Myanmar's Unfolding Nemesis", Matthews, Bruce, Institute of South East Asian Studies, Visiting Researcher Series, Volume 2001, No. 3. 2001. Such persecution and targeting of civilians is particularly notable in Eastern Myanmar, where over 3000 villages have been destroyed in the past ten years.WEB,weblink Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma 2006 Survey, 4 February 2007, Thailand Burma Border Consortium, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 15 May 2007, NEWS, Harry, Priestly,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 19 January 2012, The Outsiders, The Irrawaddy, 17 January 2006, WEB,weblink The Encounter of Missionary Christianity and Resurgent Buddhism in Post-colonial Myanmar, 14 July 2006, Ling, Samuel Ngun, 2003, Payap University,weblink" title="">weblink 2 March 2006, More than 200,000 Muslims have fled to Bangladesh over the last 20 years to escape persecution.BOOK, Zatko, Martin, The Rough Guide to Myanmar, 2015, 357, NEWS, Dummett, Mark,weblink Burmese exiles in desperate conditions, BBC News, 29 September 2007, 20 November 2012, A large majority of the population practices Buddhism; estimates range from 80%Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project: Burma. Pew Research Center. 2010. to 89%.WEB,weblink, 17 February 2011, According to 2014 Myanmar Census, 87.9% of the population identifies as Buddhists. Theravāda Buddhism is the most widespread. Other religions are practised largely without obstruction, with the notable exception of some religious minorities such as the Rohingya people, who have continued to have their citizenship status denied and treated as illegal immigrants instead, and Christians in Chin State.WEB,weblink Burma-International Religious Freedom Report 2007, U.S. Department of State, According to 2014 census, 6.2% of the population identifies as Christian; 4.3% as Muslim; 0.8% as followers of tribal religions; 0.5% as Hindus; 0.2% as followers of other religions; and 0.1% follow no religion.BOOK, The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census Report Volume 2-C, Department of Population Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population MYANMAR, Department of Population Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population MYANMAR, July 2016, 12–15, According to the 2010 estimates of the Pew Research Center, 7% of the population is Christian; 4% is Muslim; 1% follows traditional animistic beliefs; and 2% follow other religions, including Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and East Asian religions.WEB,weblink International Religious Freedom Report 2007 â€“ Burma,, 17 April 2010, WEB,weblink Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs â€“ Background Note: Burma,, 17 April 2010,weblink 22 January 2017, dead, Jehovah's Witnesses have been present since 1914BOOK, 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 2013, 85, and have about 80 congregations around the country and a branch office in Yangon publishing in 16 languages.WEB,weblink Office and Tour Information,, 6 November 2015, A tiny Jewish community in Rangoon had a synagogue but no resident rabbi to conduct services.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 21 November 2010, Burma—International Religious Freedom Report 2010, U.S. Department of State, 17 November 2010, 22 February 2011, File:A nun and group of monks praying before idols in Myanmar.jpg|thumb|Praying Buddhist monks in Shwedagon PagodaShwedagon PagodaAlthough Hinduism is practised by 0.5% of the population, it was a major religion in Myanmar's past. Several strains of Hinduism existed alongside both Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism in the Mon and Pyu period in the first millennium,BOOK, Aung-Thwin, Michael A., The Mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma, illustrated, University of Hawai'i Press, 2005, Honolulu, 978-0-8248-2886-8, 31–34, and down to the Pagan period (9th to 13th centuries) when "Saivite and Vaishana elements enjoyed greater elite influence than they would later do."Lieberman, pp. 115–116 Burmese folk religion is practiced by many Bamars alongside Buddhism.


The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 27 April 2011, PPI: Almost Half of All World Health Spending is in the United States, 17 January 2007, NEWS,weblink Myanmar junta faulted for rampant diseases, 28 June 2007, Anwar, Yasmin, UC Berkeley News, {{dead link|date=September 2016}} Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment.The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Myanmar is 240. This is compared with 219.3 in 2008 and 662 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 73 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 47.Myanmar's government spends the least percentage of its GDP on health care of any country in the world, and international donor organisations give less to Myanmar, per capita, than any other country except India.weblink" title="">A preventable fate: The failure of ART scale-up in Myanmar. Médecins Sans Frontières. November 2008 According to the report named "Preventable Fate", published by Doctors without Borders, 25,000 Burmese AIDS patients died in 2007, deaths that could largely have been prevented by antiretroviral therapy drugs and proper treatment.HIV/AIDS, recognised as a disease of concern by the Burmese Ministry of Health, is most prevalent among sex workers and intravenous drug users. In 2005, the estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in Myanmar was 1.3% (200,000–570,000 people), according to UNAIDS, and early indicators of any progress against the HIV epidemic are inconsistent.WEB,weblink At a glance: Myanmar â€“ statistics, 9 January 2007, UNICEF, WEB,weblink A scaled-up response to AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, 10 January 2007, 1 July 2005, UNAIDS, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 February 2007, WEB,weblink Asia, 9 January 2007, UNAIDS, December 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2007, However, the National AIDS Programme Myanmar found that 32% of sex workers and 43% of intravenous drug users in Myanmar have HIV.


File:Students, Hakha, Chin State, Myanmar.jpg|thumb|Students on their way to school, Kalaymyo, Sagaing RegionSagaing RegionAccording to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Myanmar's official literacy rate as of 2000 was 90%.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2007, Adult (15+) Literacy Rates and Illiterate Population by Region and Gender for, 13 July 2006, April 2006, XLS, UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Historically, Myanmar has had high literacy rates. To qualify for least developed country status by the UN to receive debt relief, Myanmar lowered its official literacy rate from 79% to 19% in 1987.BOOK, Robert I Rotberg, 1998, Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future, {{Page needed|date=July 2017}} {{clarify|reason=this story is incomplete â€“ and then what? when was it changed back?|date=May 2013}}The educational system of Myanmar is operated by the government agency, the Ministry of Education. The education system is based on the United Kingdom's system due to nearly a century of British and Christian presences in Myanmar. Nearly all schools are government-operated, but there has been a recent increase in privately funded English language schools. Schooling is compulsory until the end of elementary school, approximately about 9 years old, while the compulsory schooling age is 15 or 16 at international level.There are 101 universities, 12 institutes, 9-degree colleges and 24 colleges in Myanmar, a total of 146 higher education institutions.Chronicle of National Development Comparison Between Period Preceding 1988 and after (up to 31 December 2006). There are 10 Technical Training Schools, 23 nursing training schools, 1 sport academy and 20 midwifery schools. There are 2047 Basic Education High Schools, 2605 Basic Education Middle Schools, 29944 Basic Education Primary Schools and 5952 Post Primary Schools. 1692 multimedia classrooms exist within this system.There are four international schools acknowledged by WASC and College Board—The International School Yangon (ISY), Myanmar International School (MIS), Yangon International School (YIS) and International School of Myanmar (ISM) in Yangon.


{{Further|Crime in Myanmar}}Myanmar had a murder rate of 15.2 per 100,000 population with a total of 8,044 murders in 2012.WEB,weblink UNODC: Global Study on Homicide, agt, Factors influencing Myanmar's high murder rate include communal violence and armed conflict.WEB,weblink ASEAN: As safe as we think?, Justin, Calderon, Inside Investor, 3 July 2013, 7 July 2013, Myanmar is one of the world's most corrupt nations. The 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the country at number 171, out of 176 countries in total.NEWS,weblink Thomson Reuters Foundation, Myanmar still near bottom of corruption rankings in 2012 despite reforms, 5 December 2012, Myanmar is the world's second largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, producing some 25% of the world's opium, and forms part of the Golden Triangle. The opium industry was a monopoly during colonial times and has since been illegally operated by corrupt officials in the Burmese military and rebel fighters,NEWS,weblink UN report: Opium cultivation rising in Burma, BBC News, 31 October 2012, 10 June 2013, primarily as the basis for heroin manufacture.Myanmar is the largest producer of methamphetamines in the world, with the majority of Ya ba found in Thailand produced in Myanmar, particularly in the Golden Triangle and Northeastern Shan State, which borders Thailand, Laos and China.NEWS,weblink Myanmar's rising drug trade, Thornton, Phil, 12 February 2012, Bangkok Post, 19 February 2012, Burmese-produced ya ba is typically trafficked to Thailand via Laos, before being transported through the northeastern Thai region of Isan.NEWS,weblink Holes in Thailand's drug fences, McCartan, Brian, 13 July 2010, Asia Times, 19 February 2012,


File:Burmese Ramayana dance.jpg|thumb|upright|Burmese Kinnayi Kinnaya dance]]A diverse range of indigenous cultures exist in Myanmar, with majority culture primarily Buddhist and Bamar. Bamar culture has been influenced by the cultures of neighbouring countries, manifested in its language, cuisine, music, dance and theatre. The arts, particularly literature, have historically been influenced by the local form of Theravada Buddhism. Considered the national epic of Myanmar, the Yama Zatdaw, an adaptation of India's Ramayana, has been influenced greatly by Thai, Mon, and Indian versions of the play.WEB,weblink Ramayana in Myanmar's heart, 13 July 2006, 13 September 2003, Goldenland Pages, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2006, Buddhism is practised along with nat worship, which involves elaborate rituals to propitiate one from a pantheon of 37 nats.BOOK, R. C., Temple, 1906, The Thirty-seven Nats-A Phase of Spirit-Worship prevailing in Burma, WEB,weblink The Worshipping of Nats â€“ The Special Festival of Mount Popa, Myanmar Travel Information,weblink" title="">weblinkaccess-date=10 January 2012, File:Myanmar Traditional novitiation march.JPG|thumb|A Buddhist Shinbyu ceremony in MandalayMandalayIn a traditional village, the monastery is the centre of cultural life. Monks are venerated and supported by the lay people. A novitiation ceremony called shinbyu is the most important coming of age events for a boy, during which he enters the monastery for a short time.BOOK, Chit, Khin Myo, Khin Myo Chit, 1980, Flowers and Festivals Round the Burmese Year, All male children in Buddhist families are encouraged to be a novice (beginner for Buddhism) before the age of twenty and to be a monk after the age of twenty. Girls have ear-piercing ceremonies ({{my|နားသ}}) at the same time. Burmese culture is most evident in villages where local festivals are held throughout the year, the most important being the pagoda festival.BOOK, Tsaya, 1886, Myam-ma, the home of the Myanmarn, Thacker, Spink and Co., Calcutta, 36–37, BOOK, Yoe, Shway, 1882, The Myanmarn â€“ His Life and Notions, Norton Library 1963, New York, 211–216, 317–319, Many villages have a guardian nat, and superstition and taboos are commonplace.File:Rakhine Thingyan 2011.jpeg|thumb|An Arakan (Rakhine) girl pours water at revellers during the Burmese New Year ThingyanThingyanBritish colonial rule introduced Western elements of culture to Myanmar. Myanmar's education system is modelled after that of the United Kingdom. Colonial architectural influences are most evident in major cities such as Yangon.NEWS, Steven, Martin,weblink Burma maintains bygone buildings, BBC News, March 2004, 9 July 2006, Many ethnic minorities, particularly the Karen in the southeast and the Kachin and Chin who populate the north and northeast, practice Christianity.BOOK,weblink The Silken East â€“ A Record of Life and Travel in Burma, V. C., Scott O'Connor, 1904, Kiscadale, Scotland 1993, 32, According to The World Factbook, the Burman population is 68% and the ethnic groups constitute 32%. However, the exiled leaders and organisations claims that ethnic population is 40%, which is implicitly contrasted with CIA report (official US report).


{{Further|Burmese cuisine}}Burmese cuisine is characterised by extensive use of fish products such as fish sauce, ngapi (fermented seafood) and dried prawn.Mohinga is the traditional breakfast dish and is Myanmar's national dish. Seafood is a common ingredient in coastal cities such as Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Mawlamyaing (formerly Moulmein), Mergui (Myeik) and Dawei, while meat and poultry are more commonly used in landlocked cities like Mandalay. Freshwater fish and shrimp have been incorporated into inland cooking as a primary source of protein and are used in a variety of ways, fresh, salted whole or filleted, salted and dried, made into a salty paste, or fermented sour and pressed.Burmese cuisine also includes a variety of salads (a thoke), centred on one major ingredient, ranging from starches like rice, wheat and rice noodles, glass noodles and vermicelli, to potato, ginger, tomato, kaffir lime, long bean, lahpet (pickled tea leaves), and ngapi (fish paste).


(File:Chinlone Burma cropped.jpg|right|thumb|Men playing chinlone)The Lethwei, Bando, Banshay, and Pongyi thaing martial arts and chinlone are traditional sports in Myanmar.WEB,weblink SPORTS IN MYANMAR: SOCCER, OLYMPICS AND TRADITIONAL SPORTS, Hays, Jeffrey, Facts and Details, 5 June 2017, Football is played all over the country, even in villages.The 2013 Southeast Asian Games took place in Naypyidaw, Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwesaung Beach in December representing the third occasion that the event has been staged in Myanmar. Myanmar previously hosted the Games in 1961 and 1969.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 23 July 2012, Myanmar prepares for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, 5 January 2012,


Burmese traditional art concepts is popular and respected by the Burmese people and people from abroad.Burmese contemporary art has developed quite rapidly on its own terms. Artists born after the 1980s have had greater chances of art practice outside the country.One of the first to study western art was Ba Nyan. Together with Ngwe Gaing and a handful of other artists, they were the pioneers of western painting style. Later on most young children learned the concepts from them. Some well known contemporary artists are Lun Gywe, Aung Kyaw Htet, MPP Yei Myint, Myint Swe, Min Wai Aung, Aung Myint, Kin Maung Yin, Po Po and Zaw Zaw Aung.

Media and communications

Due to Myanmar's political climate, there are not many media companies in relation to the country's population, although a certain number exists. Some are privately owned. All programming must meet with the approval of the censorship board.The Burmese government announced on 20 August 2012 that it would stop censoring media before publication. Following the announcement, newspapers and other outlets no longer required approved by state censors; however, journalists in the country can still face consequences for what they write and say.NEWS, Burma Abolishes Censorship,weblink The Daily Beast, 20 August 2012, In April 2013, international media reports were published to relay the enactment of the media liberalisation reforms that we announced in August 2012. For the first time in numerous decades, the publication of privately owned newspapers commenced in the country.NEWS, Myanmar shows new signs of press freedom,weblink 24 April 2013, Al Jazeera, 1 April 2013, Sukri, Azhar,


{{Update|inaccurate=yes|section|date=June 2013}}File:Kayan women Burma 1.jpg|thumb|Kayan women in a village near Inle LakeInle LakeInternet use is estimated to be relatively low compared to other countries.WEB,weblink Internet Access and Openness: Myanmar 2012, 18 July 2014,weblink 14 April 2014, dead, Myanmar's internet used to be subject to censorship, and authorities viewed e-mails and posts on Internet blogs until 2012 when the government removed media censorship. During the strict censorship days, activity at internet cafes was regulated, and one blogger named Zarganar was sentenced to prison for publishing a video of destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis in 2008; Zarganar was released in October 2011.In regards to communications infrastructure, Myanmar is the last ranked Asian country in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. With 148 countries reported on, Myanmar ranked number 146 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking.WEB,weblink NRI Overall Ranking 2014, World Economic Forum, 28 June 2014, No data is currently available for previous years.


Myanmar's first film was a documentary of the funeral of Tun Shein—a leading politician of the 1910s, who campaigned for Burmese independence in London. The first Burmese silent film Myitta Ne Thuya (Love and Liquor) in 1920 which proved a major success, despite its poor quality due to a fixed camera position and inadequate film accessories. During the 1920s and 1930s, many Burmese-owned film companies made and produced several films. The first Burmese sound film was produced in 1932 in Bombay, India with the title Ngwe Pay Lo Ma Ya (Money Can't Buy It). After World War II, Burmese cinema continued to address political themes. Many of the films produced in the early Cold War era had a strong propaganda element to them.In the era that followed the political events of 1988, the film industry has been increasingly controlled by the government. Film stars who had been involved in the political activities were banned from appearing in films. The government issues strict rules on censorship and largely determines who produces films, as well as who gets academy awards.JOURNAL, Zaw, Aung, Celluloid Disillusions,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 13 February 2005, Irrawaddy, 12, 3, March 2004, Over the years, the movie industry has also shifted to producing many lower budget direct-to-video films.Most of the movies produced nowadays are comedies.Kyi Soe Tun quoted in the Bangkok Post, 11 August 2006 In 2008, only 12 films worthy of being considered for an Academy Award were made, although at least 800 VCDs were produced.weblink" title="">Through the Director's Lens. Irrawaddy. 16 January 2009Myanmar is the primary subject of a 2007 graphic novel titled Chroniques Birmanes by Québécois author and animator, Guy Delisle. The graphic novel was translated into English under the title Burma Chronicles in 2008. In 2009, a documentary about Burmese videojournalists called Burma VJ was released.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 21 May 2009, Burma VJ â€“ Academy Award Nominee â€“ Best Documentary Feature,, 17 April 2010, This film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2010 Academy Awards.WEB,weblink Burma VJ Nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Rev. Danny Fisher,, 2 February 2010, 17 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 April 2011, The Lady had its world premiere on 12 September 2011 at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival.WEB,weblink TIFF List 2011: A Complete Guide To The Toronto International Film Festival, Knegt, Peter, Knegt, Peter, 2011-09-12, IndieWire, en, 2018-12-31,

See also






  • BOOK, Lieberman, Lieberman, Victor B., Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland, 2003, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-80496-7,
  • BOOK, Myint-U, Myint-U, Thant, The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of Burma, 2006, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 978-0-374-16342-6,
  • BOOK, Charney, Michael W., History of Modern Burma, 1999, Cambridge University Press,
  • BOOK, Kemp, Hans, [Burmese Light, Impressions of the Golden Land], illustrated with text by Tom Vater, Visionary World, 2013, 978-9628563708,
  • weblink" title="">"Burma's Western Border as Reported by the Diplomatic Correspondence(1947–1975)" by Aye Chan

External links

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Eastern Philosophy
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