||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (March 2013)|
|Republic of the Union of Myanmar
ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်Pyidaunzu Thanmăda Myăma Nainngandaw
Location of Burma (green)
in ASEAN (dark grey)
|Largest city||Yangon (Rangoon)|
|Recognised regional languages|
|Official scripts||Burmese script|
|Ethnic groups ()|
|Demonym||Burmese / Myanma|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Legislature||Assembly of the Union|
|-||Upper house||House of Nationalities|
|-||Lower house||House of Representatives|
|-||Pagan Dynasty||23 December 849|
|-||Toungoo Dynasty||16 October 1510|
|-||Konbaung Dynasty||29 February 1752|
(from United Kingdom)
|4 January 1948|
|-||Coup d'état||2 March 1962|
|-||New constitution||30 March 2011|
|-||Total||676,578 km2 (40th)
261,227 sq mi
|-||2012 estimate||61,120,000 (24th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2013 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2013 estimate|
|HDI (2012)|| 0.498
low · 149th
|Currency||Kyat (K) (
|Time zone||MST (UTC+06:30)|
|Drives on the||rightb|
|ISO 3166 code||MM|
|a.||Some governments recognise Yangon (Rangoon) as the
|b.||Road infrastructure is still for driving on the left.|
Burma (i// BUR-mə), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, commonly shortened to Myanmar (i// MYAHN-mar, // or //), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Burma's population of over 60 million makes it the world's 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 square kilometres (261,227 sq mi), it is the world's 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.
Early civilizations in Burma included the Tibeto-Burman speaking Pyu in Upper Burma and the Mon in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the Burmese language and culture slowly became dominant in the country. During this period, Theravada Buddhism gradually became the predominant religion of the country. The Pagan Empire fell due to the Mongol invasions (1277–1301), and several warring states emerged. In the second half of the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Burma and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony (a part of India until 1937 and then a separately administered colony). Burma became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup in 1962, a military dictatorship which formally ended in 2011.
For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and a myriad of Burma's ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running unresolved civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011 the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed. Although the military retains enormous influence through the constitution that was ratified in 2008, it has taken steps toward relinquishing control of the government. This, along with the release of Burma's most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi, and many other 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 that had been imposed by the European Union and the United States. There is, however, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of the largely Muslim ethnic Rohingya minority and its poor response to the religious clashes that have occurred throughout the nation, described by various human rights organizations as a policy of ethnic cleansing.
Burma is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$53.14 billion and was estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. Despite good economic growth it's believed that Burma's true economic potential won't be easily achieved due to the nation's lack of development, as of 2013 according to the Human Development Index (HDI) Burma still has one of the lowest human development in the world.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Government and politics
- 3.1 Foreign relations
- 3.2 Human rights
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture
- 7 Geography
- 8 Health
- 9 Education
- 10 Internet
- 11 Units of measurement
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Bibliography
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
In 1989, the military government officially changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period, including that of the country itself: "Burma" became "Myanmar". The renaming remains a contested issue. 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.
The country's official full name is the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar" i// (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်, Pyidaunzu Thanmăda Myăma Nainngandaw, pronounced: [pjìdàʊɴzṵ θàɴməda̰ mjəmà nàɪɴŋàɴdɔ̀]). Some countries, however, have not recognized this name and use the short form "Union of Burma" instead.
In English, the country is popularly known by either of its short names "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 Bama (pronounced: [bəmà]) or Myamah (pronounced: [mjəmà]). The name Burma has been in use in English since the time of British colonial rule.
Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of many countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. 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 as Myanmar. The United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, Germany, China, India, Norway, Australia and Japan.
There are also other variations. Burma is known as "Birmania" in Spanish, Italian and Romanian, as "Birmânia" in Portuguese, and as "Birmanie" in French. The Government of Brazil uses "Mianmar".
Archaeological evidence shows that Homo erectus lived in the region now known as Burma as early as 400,000 years ago. The first evidence of Homo sapiens is dated to about 11,000 BC, in a Stone Age culture called the Anyathian with discoveries of stone tools in central Burma. 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 near the city of Taunggyi. 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. The Iron Age began around 500 BC with the emergence of iron-working settlements in an area south of present-day Mandalay. 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.
Around the 2nd century BC the first-known city-states emerged in central Burma. The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant, from present-day Yunnan. 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 organization. By the 9th century AD several city-states had sprouted across the land: the Pyu states in the central dry zone, Mon states along the southern coastline and Arakanese states along the western littoral. The balance was upset when the Pyu states came under repeated attacks from the Kingdom of Nanzhao between the 750s and the 830s. In the mid-to-late 9th century the Mranma (Burmans/Bamar) of Nanzhao founded a small settlement at Pagan (Bagan). It was one of several competing city-states until the late 10th century when it grew in authority and grandeur.
Pagan gradually grew to absorb its surrounding states until the 1050s–1060s when Anawrahta founded the Pagan Empire, 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. 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. Theravada Buddhism slowly began to spread to the village level although Tantric, Mahayana, Brahmanic, and animist practices 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.
Pagan'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 sizable powers, Ava Kingdom and Hanthawaddy Kingdom, emerged. In the west, a politically fragmented Arakan was under competing influences of its stronger neighbors until the Kingdom of Mrauk U unified the Arakan coastline for the first time in 1437.
Early on, Ava fought wars of unification (1385–1424) but could never quite reassemble the lost empire. Having held off Ava, 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 Burma until 1555.
Like the Pagan Empire, Ava, Hanthawaddy and the Shan states were all multi-ethnic polities. Despite the wars, cultural synchronization 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. Hanthawaddy monarchs introduced religious reforms that later spread to the rest of the country. Many splendid temples of Mrauk U were built during this period.
Political unification returned in the mid-16th century, due to the efforts of one tiny Toungoo (Taungoo), a former vassal state of Ava. Toungoo's young, ambitious king Tabinshwehti defeated the more powerful Hanthawaddy in 1541. His successor Bayinnaung went on to conquer a vast swath of mainland Southeast Asia including the Shan states, Lan Na, Manipur, the Chinese Shan states, Siam, 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. Siam seized Tenasserim and Lan Na, and Portuguese mercenaries established Portuguese rule at Syriam (Thanlyin).
The dynasty regrouped and defeated the Portuguese in 1613 and Siam in 1614. It restored a smaller, more manageable kingdom, encompassing Lower Burma, Upper Burma, 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 Manipuri raids into Upper Burma, and a nagging rebellion in Lan Na. In 1740, the Mon of Lower Burma founded the Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom. Hanthawaddy forces sacked Ava in 1752, ending the 266-year-old Toungoo Dynasty.
After the fall of Ava, one resistance group, Alaungpaya's Konbaung Dynasty defeated Restored Hanthawaddy, and by 1759, had reunited all of Burma (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), defeated Siam (1767), and defeated four invasions by China (1765–1769). With Burma preoccupied by the Chinese threat, Siam 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 Siam). Faced with a powerful China and a resurgent Siam 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.
The 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 tried to modernize the kingdom, and in 1875 narrowly avoided annexation by ceding the Karenni States. The British, alarmed by the consolidation of French Indo-China, 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 theater continued, aided by an extremely high adult male literacy rate for the era (half of all males and 5% of females). Nonetheless, the extent and pace of reforms were uneven and ultimately proved insufficient to stem the advance of British colonialism.
The country was colonized by Britain following three Anglo-Burmese Wars (1824–1885). 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. 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 a rule that forbade him from wearing his Buddhist robes while imprisoned.
On 1 April 1937, Burma became a separately administered colony of Great Britain and Ba Maw 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. A similar American unit, Merrill's Marauders, followed the Chindits into the Burmese jungle in 1943. Beginning in late 1944, allied troops launched a series of offensives that led to the end of Japanese rule in July 1945. However, the battles were intense with much of Burma laid waste by the fighting. Overall, the Japanese lost some 150,000 men in Burma. Only 1,700 prisoners were taken.
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. 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.
Following World War II, Aung San negotiated the Panglong Agreement with ethnic leaders that guaranteed the independence of Burma 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 Burma, a transitional government. But in July 1947, political rivals assassinated Aung San and several cabinet members.
On 4 January 1948, the nation became an independent republic, 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, 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.
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. Among the Burmese to work at the UN when he was Secretary-General was a young Aung San Suu Kyi, who went on to become winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.
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, Burma was ruled by a revolutionary council headed by the general, and almost all aspects of society (business, media, production) were nationalized or brought under government control under the Burmese Way to Socialism, which combined Soviet-style nationalisation and central planning with the governmental implementation of superstitious beliefs. 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). During this period, Burma became one of the world's most impoverished countries.
There 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. SLORC changed the country's official English name from the "Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma" to the "Union of Myanmar" in 1989.
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 489 seats (i.e., 80% of the seats). However, the military junta refused to cede power 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.
On 23 June 1997, Burma 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".
In August 2007, an increase in the price of diesel and petrol led to a series of anti-government protests that were dealt with harshly by the government. The protests then became a campaign of civil resistance (also called the Saffron Revolution.) led by Buddhist monks, hundreds of whom defied the house arrest of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi to pay their respects at the gate of her house. The government finally cracked down on them on 26 September 2007. The crackdown was harsh, with reports of barricades at the Shwedagon Pagoda and monks killed. However, there were also rumours of disagreement within the Burmese armed forces, but none was confirmed. The military crackdown against unarmed Saffron Revolution protesters was widely condemned as part of the International reaction to the 2007 Burmese anti-government protests 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. It was the worst natural disaster in Burmese history with reports of an estimated 200,000 people dead or missing, and damage totaled to 10 billion dollars (USD), and as many as 1 million left homeless. In the critical days following this disaster, Burma's isolationist government was accused of hindering United Nations recovery efforts. 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.
In early August 2009, a conflict known as the Kokang incident broke out in Shan State in northern Burma. For several weeks, junta troops fought against ethnic minorities including the Han Chinese, Wa, and Kachin. During 8–12 August, the first days of the conflict, as many as 10,000 Burmese civilians fled to Yunnan province in neighbouring China.
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.
The 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. One report documented 77 percent as the official turnout rate of the election. 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 institutionalizing 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.
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.
The impact of the post-election reforms has been observed in numerous areas, including ASEAN's approval of Burma's bid for the position of ASEAN chair in 2014; the visit by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011 for the encouragement of further progress—it was the first visit by a Secretary of State in more than fifty years (Clinton met with Burmese president Thein Sein, as well as opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi); 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. As of July 2013, about 100 political prisoners remain imprisoned, while conflict between the Burmese Army and local insurgent groups continues.
The by-elections occurred on 1 April 2012 and the NLD won 43 of the 45 available seats; previously an illegal organization, the NLD had never won a Burmese election until this time. The 2012 by-elections were also the first time that international representatives were allowed to monitor the voting process in Burma. Following announcement of the by-elections, the Freedom House organization raised concerns about "reports of fraud and harassment in the lead up to elections, including the March 23 deportation of Somsri Hananuntasuk, executive director of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), a regional network of civil society organizations promoting democratization."
Civil wars have been a constant feature of Burma'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 Burman 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 Burma's civil wars continue.
In October 2012 the number of ongoing conflicts in Burma included the Kachin conflict, between the Kachin Independence Army and the government; a civil war between the Rohingya Muslims, and the government and non-government groups in Arakan State; and a conflict between the Shan, Lahu and Karen minority groups, and the government in the eastern half of the country.
Government and politics
The constitution of Burma, its third since independence, was drafted by its military rulers and published in September 2008. The country is governed as a presidential republic with a bicameral legislature, with a portion of legislators appointed by the military and others elected in general elections. The current head of state, inaugurated as President on 30 March 2011, is Thein Sein.
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 while the lower house consists of 440 members, of whom 330 are directly elected and 110 are appointed by the armed forces. The major political parties are the National League for Democracy, National Democratic Force and the two backed by the military: the National Unity Party, and the Union Solidarity and Development Party.
Burma'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.
The elections of 2010 resulted in a victory for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party and various foreign observers questioned the fairness of the elections. 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. 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. 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.
Burma rates as a highly corrupt nation on the Corruption Perceptions Index with a rank of 180th out of 183 countries worldwide and a rating of 1.5 out of 10 (10 being least corrupt and 0 being highly corrupt) as of 2011.
Though the country's foreign relations, particularly with Western nations, have been strained, relations have thawed since the reforms following the 2010 elections. After years of diplomatic isolation and economic and military sanctions, the United States relaxed curbs on foreign aid to Burma in November 2011 and announced the resumption of diplomatic relations on 13 January 2012 The European Union has placed sanctions on Burma, including an arms embargo, cessation of trade preferences, and suspension of all aid with the exception of humanitarian aid. U.S. and European government sanctions 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 U.S. and many European companies. On 13 April 2012 British Prime Minister David Cameron called for the economic sanctions on Burma 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.
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 cooperation between India and Burma include remote sensing, oil and gas exploration, information technology, hydro power and construction of ports and buildings. In 2008, India suspended military aid to Burma 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. 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. International relations progress indicators continued in September 2012 when Aung San Suu Kyi visited to the US followed by Burma's reformist president visit to the United Nations.
In May 2013, Thein Sein became the first Myanmar president to visit the U.S. White House in 47 years and President Barack Obama praised the former general for political and economic reforms, and the cessation of tensions between Myanmar and the U.S. Political activists objected to the visit due to concerns over human rights abuses in Myanmar but Obama assured Thein Sein that Myanmar will receive the support from the U.S. Prior to President Thein Sein, the last Myanmar leader to visit the White House was Ne Win in September 1966. The two leaders discussed to release more political prisoners, the institutionalization 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 May 21, 2013.
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 June 5–7 and attended by 1,200 participants, including 10 heads of state, 12 ministers and 40 senior directors from around the world.
Visits by Western leaders
In mid October, 2012. former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair "led a delegation" to shake hands with President Thein Sein, and met with lower house speaker Shwe Mann. A British embassy spokesperson said he was there on behalf of The Office of Tony Blair, an umbrella group of foundations—inter-faith, sports, etc.—and governance initiatives that he started up after leaving office. The spokesperson said only that he had "productive discussions about the reform process".
On 6 November 2012 former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard met with Myanmar's President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the 9th Asia–Europe Meeting becoming the first Australian head of government to meet Burma's leader in nearly 30 years.
On 12 November 2012 Sweden's Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, met President U Thein Sein at the presidential palace in the new capital, Naypyidaw, while being accompanied on his visit by the Swedish Trade Minister Ewa Björling and two business delegations.
On 19 November 2012, US President Barack Obama visited Burma following his 2012 reelection and was accompanied by Hillary Clinton, returning almost a year after her first visit. Though he did not visit the capital, President Obama delivered a speech at Rangoon University, out of respect for the university where opposition to colonial rule first took hold. Obama's speech was broadcast live via Burmese state television channels but its simultaneous spoken translations was stopped when Obama began speaking about the Kachin Conflict. Obama also stated that recent violence in Rakhine state during the 2012 Rakhine State riots had to be addressed, he called for an end to communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists and then left to visit Thailand.
Burma has received extensive military aid from India and China in the past According to some estimates, Burma has received more than US$200 million in military aid from India. Burma 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 is scheduled to chair the forum and host the summit in 2014. In November 2008, Burma's political situation with neighbouring Bangladesh became tense as they began searching for natural gas in a disputed block of the Bay of Bengal. The fate of Rohingya refugees also remains an issue between Bangladesh and Burma.
The country'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. The military is very influential in the country, 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 Burma's military forces' expenses are high. The country imports most of its weapons from Russia, Ukraine, China and India.
The country 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.
In 2010 as part of the Wikileaks leaked cables, Burma was suspected of using North Korean construction teams to build a fortified Surface-to-Air Missile facility.
Until 2005, the United Nations General Assembly annually adopted a detailed resolution about the situation in Burma by consensus. But in 2006 a divided United Nations General Assembly voted through a resolution that strongly called upon the government of Burma to end its systematic violations of human rights. In January 2007, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution before the United Nations Security Council calling on the government of Burma to respect human rights and begin a democratic transition. South Africa also voted against the resolution.
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (January 2013)|
There is consensus that the military regime in Burma is one of the world's most repressive and abusive regimes. On 9 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." In addition, 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 Burma. The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly 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."
International human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have repeatedly documented and condemned widespread human rights violations in Burma. 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.
Child soldiers have and continue to play a major part in the Burmese Army as well as Burmese rebel movements. 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." 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." 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. According to Samantha Power, a U.S. 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. The newspaper reported that "Many of them were pulled off Yangon streets and elsewhere and given a minimum of training before being sent to the front line."[unreliable source?]
Child/forced/slave labour, systematic sexual violence and human trafficking
Forced labour, human trafficking, and child labour are common. The military is also notorious for rampant use of sexual violence, a practice continuing as of 2012. In 2007 the international movement to defend women's human rights issues in Burma was said to be gaining speed.
Genocide allegations and crimes against Rohingya people
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 numerous generations)—the Rohingya have been denied Burmese citizenship since the enactment of a 1982 citizenship law. The Burmese regime has attempted to forcibly expel Rohingya and bring in non-Rohingyas to replace them—this policy has resulted in the expulsion of approximately half of the Rohingya population from Burma, while the Rohingya people have been described as "among the world's least wanted" and "one of the world's most persecuted minorities."
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.
In 2007 the German professor Bassam Tibi suggested that the Rohingya conflict may be driven by an Islamist political agenda to impose religious laws, 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 Rohingya and fought against the puppet government of Burma (composed mostly of Bamar Japanese) that helped to establish the Tatmadaw military organization that remains in power as of March 2013.
A UN envoy reported in March 2013 that unrest had re-emerged between Burma's Buddhist and Muslim communities, with violence spreading to towns that are located closer to Yangon. The BBC News media outlet obtained video footage of a man with severe burns who received no assistance from passers-by or police officers even though he was lying on the ground in a public area. The footage was filmed by members of the Burmese police force in the town of Meiktila and was used as evidence that Buddhists continued to kill Muslims after the European Union sanctions were lifted on 23 April 2013.
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. The Burmese government previously identified the Rohingya as a group of illegal migrants; however, the ethnic group has lived in Burma for numerous centuries.
The 2012 Rakhine State riots are a series of ongoing conflicts between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. The riots came after weeks of sectarian disputes and have been condemned by most people on both sides of the conflict.
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. 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. 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.
Thousands of homes were destroyed, 78 people died, 87 people were injured, and an estimated 90,000 people were displaced after the 2012 Rakhine State riots between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Burma's western Rakhine State.
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. The Burmese army and police have been accused of targeting Rohingya Muslims through mass arrests and arbitrary violence. A number of monks' organizations that played a vital role in Burma's struggle for democracy have taken measures to block any humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya community.
Freedom of speech
Restrictions on media censorship were significantly eased in August 2012 following demonstrations by hundreds of protesters who wore shirts demanding that the government "Stop Killing the Press." The most significant change has come in the form that media organizations 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 jeopardize national security."
Praise for the 2011 government reforms
According to the Crisis Group, since Burma transitioned to a new government in August 2011, the country's human rights record has been improving. Previously giving Burma its lowest rating of 7, the 2012 Freedom in the World report also notes improvement, giving Burma a 6 for improvements in civil liberties and political rights, the release of political prisoners, and a loosening of restrictions. In 2013, Burma improved yet again, receiving a score of five in civil liberties and a six in political freedoms
The government has assembled a National Human Rights Commission that consists of 15 members from various backgrounds. Several activists in exile, including Thee Lay Thee Anyeint members, have returned to Burma after President Thein Sein's invitation to expatriates to return home to work for national development. In an address to the United Nations Security Council on 22 September 2011, Burma's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin confirmed the government's intention to release prisoners in the near future.
The government has also relaxed reporting laws, but these remain highly restrictive. In September 2011, several banned websites, including YouTube, Democratic Voice of Burma and Voice of America, were unblocked. 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.
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.
The country 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 contributes to the growing problems of the economy. The country 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. Highways are normally unpaved, except in the major cities. Energy shortages are common throughout the country including in Yangon and only 25% of the country's population has electricity.
The military government 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).
In 2010–2011, Bangladesh exported products worth $9.65 million to Myanmar against its import of $179 million. The annual import of medicine and medical equipment to Burma during the 2000s was 160 million USD.
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 Burma. The United States and European Union eased most of their sanctions in 2012. Foreign investment comes primarily from China, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, India, and Thailand.
Under British administration, Burma was the second-wealthiest country in South-East Asia. It had been the world's largest exporter of rice. Burma also had a wealth of natural and labour resources. It produced 75% of the world's teak and had a highly literate population. The country was believed to be on the fast track to development. However, agricultural production fell dramatically during the 1930s as international rice prices declined, and did not recover for several decades.
During World War II, the British destroyed the major oil wells and mines for tungsten, tin, lead and silver to keep them from the Japanese. Burma was bombed extensively by both sides. After a parliamentary government was formed in 1948, Prime Minister U Nu embarked upon a policy of nationalization 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. 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 program turned Burma into one of the world's most impoverished countries. Burma's admittance to Least Developed Country status by the UN in 1987 highlighted its economic bankruptcy.
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. In 2008 rice production was estimated at 50 million tons.
Burma is also the world's second largest producer of opium, accounting for 8% of entire world production and is a major source of illegal drugs, including amphetamines. 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.
Burma 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. Burma's "Valley of Rubies", the mountainous Mogok area, 200 km (120 mi) north of Mandalay, is noted for its rare pigeon's blood rubies and blue sapphires.
Many U.S. 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. The government of Burma controls the gem trade by direct ownership or by joint ventures with private owners of mines.
Other industries include agricultural goods, textiles, wood products, construction materials, gems, metals, oil and natural gas.
Since 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. Burma'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.
The most popular available tourist destinations in Burma 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 Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui. Nevertheless much of the country is off-limits to tourists, and interactions between foreigners and the people of Burma, 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.
The only way for travelers to enter the country seems to be by air. According to the website Lonely Planet, getting into Burma (Myanmar) is problematic: "No bus or train service connects Myanmar with another country, nor can you travel by car or motorcycle across the border – you must walk across.", and states that, "It is not possible for foreigners to go to/from Myanmar by sea or river." They do say that there are a small number of border crossings, but that these are limiting in that they do not allow travel into the country "You can cross from Ruili (China) to Mu-se, but not leave that way. 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 began launching direct flights from Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and Singapore." 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".
The Government of Burma is under economic sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department (31 CFR Part 537, 16 August 2005) and by Executive orders 13047 (1997), 13310 (2003), 13448 (2007), 13464 (2008), and the most recent, 13619 (2012). Debate as to the extent to which the American-led sanctions have had adverse effects on the civilian population or on the military rulers.
From May 2012 to February 2013, the United States began to lift its economic sanctions on Burma "in response to the historic reforms that have been taking place in that country." Sanctions remain in place for blocked banks 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)".
Government stakeholders in business
Economic liberalization post 2011
In March 2012, a draft foreign investment law emerged, the first in more than 2 decades. Foreigners will no longer require a local partner to start a business in the country, and will be able to legally lease but not own property. 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.  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.
Burma has a population of about 56 million. Population figures are rough estimates because the last partial census, conducted by the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs under the control of the military junta, was taken in 1983. No trustworthy nationwide census has been taken in Burma since 1931. There are over 600,000 registered migrant workers from Burma in Thailand, and millions more work illegally. Burmese migrant workers account for 80% of Thailand's migrant workers. Burma has a population density of 75 per square kilometre (190 /sq mi), one of the lowest in Southeast Asia. Refugee camps exist along Indian, Bangladeshi and Thai borders while several thousand are in Malaysia. Conservative estimates state that there are over 295,800 refugees from Burma, with the majority being Karenni, and Kayin and are principally located along the Thai-Burma border. There are nine permanent refugee camps along the Thai-Burma 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, over 55,000 Burmese refugees have been resettled in the United States.
There are over 53.42 million Buddhists, over 2.98 million Christians, over 2.27 million Muslims, over 300,000 Hindus and over 790,000 of those who believe in other religions in the country, according to an answer by Union Minister at Myanmar Parliament on 8 September 2011.
Ne Win's rise to power in 1962 and his relentless persecution of "resident aliens" (immigrant groups not recognised as citizens of the Union of Burma) led to an exodus/expulsion of some 300,000 Burmese Indians. They migrated to escape racial discrimination and wholesale nationalisation of private enterprise a few years later in 1964. The Anglo-Burmese at this time either fled the country or changed their names and blended in with the broader Burmese society.
Largest cities or towns of Myanmar
Burma is home to four major language families: Sino-Tibetan, Tai–Kadai, Austro-Asiatic, and Indo-European. Sino-Tibetan languages are most widely spoken. They include Burmese, Karen, Kachin, Chin, and Chinese. The primary Tai–Kadai language is Shan. Mon, Palaung, and Wa are the major Austroasiatic languages spoken in Burma. The two major Indo-European languages are Pali, the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism, and English.
According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Burma's official literacy rate as of 2000 was 89.9%. Historically, Burma has had high literacy rates. To qualify for least developed country status by the UN in order to receive debt relief, Burma lowered its official literacy rate from 78.6% to 18.7% in 1987.[clarification needed]
Burma is ethnically diverse. The government recognises 135 distinct ethnic groups. While it is extremely difficult to verify this statement, there are at least 108 different ethnolinguistic groups in Burma, consisting mainly of distinct Tibeto-Burman peoples, but with sizeable populations of Tai–Kadai, Hmong–Mien, and Austroasiatic (Mon–Khmer) peoples. The Bamar form an estimated 68% of the population. 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. Burma'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, 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 U.K.. Today, it is estimated that only 52,000 Anglo-Burmese remain in the country. There are 110,000 Burmese refugees in Thai border camps.
89% of the country's population are Buddhist, according to a report on ABC World News Tonight in May 2008 and the Buddha Dharma Education Association.
Burmese, the mother tongue of the Bamar and official language of Burma, is related to Tibetan and to the Chinese languages. 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. 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.
Many religions are practised in Burma. 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. Such persecution and targeting of civilians is particularly notable in Eastern Burma, where over 3000 villages have been destroyed in the past ten years. More than 200,000 Rohingya Muslims have settled in Bangladesh over the last 20 years to escape persecution.
89% of the population embraces Buddhism (mostly Theravāda). Other religions are practiced largely without obstruction, with the notable exception of some ethnic minorities such as the Muslim Rohingya people, who have continued to have their citizenship status denied and treated as illegal immigrants instead, and Christians in Chin State. 4% of the population practices Islam; 4% Christianity; 1% traditional animistic beliefs; and 2% follow other religions, including Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, East Asian religions and the Bahá'í Faith. However, according to a U.S. State Department's 2010 international religious freedom report, official statistics are alleged to underestimate the non-Buddhist population. Independent researchers put the Muslim population at 6 to 10% of the population. A tiny Jewish community in Rangoon had a synagogue but no resident rabbi to conduct services.
Although Hinduism is presently only practiced by 1% of the population, it was a major religion in Burma's past. Several strains of Hinduism existed alongside both Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism in the Mon and Pyu period in the first millennium CE, and down to the Pagan period (9th to 13th centuries) when "Saivite and Vaishana elements enjoyed greater elite influence than they would later do."
A diverse range of indigenous cultures exist in Burma, the majority culture is primarily Buddhist and Bamar. Bamar culture has been influenced by the cultures of neighbouring countries. This is 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 Burma, the Yama Zatdaw, an adaptation of India's Ramayana, has been influenced greatly by Thai, Mon, and Indian versions of the play. Buddhism is practised along with nat worship, which involves elaborate rituals to propitiate one from a pantheon of 37 nats.
Mohinga, traditional Burmese rice noodles in fish soup, is widely considered to be Burma's national dish.
In 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. 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 (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. Many villages have a guardian nat, and superstition and taboos are commonplace.
British colonial rule introduced Western elements of culture to Burma. Burma's education system is modelled after that of the United Kingdom. Colonial architectural influences are most evident in major cities such as Yangon. Many ethnic minorities, particularly the Karen in the southeast and the Kachin and Chin who populate the north and northeast, practice Christianity. According to the 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 U.S. report).
Burmese contemporary art has developed rather on its own terms and quite rapidly.
One of the first to study western art was Ba Nyan. Together with Ngwe Gaing and a handful of other artists, they were pioneers of western painting style in Burma. Later, most of the students learnt from masters through apprenticeship. Some well known contemporary artists are Lun Gywe, Aung Kyaw Htet, MPP Yei Myint, Myint Swe, Min Wai Aung, Aung Myint and Po Po.
Most of the young artists who were born in the 1980s have greater chances of art practises inside and outside the country. Performance art is a popular genre among Burmese young artists.
Due to Burma'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 will 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.
Burma was in the attention of the media's eye when on 18 November 2012 Barack Obama visited the country, making it the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled there.
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.
Burma'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.
Over the years, the movie industry has also shifted to producing many lower budget direct-to-video films.
Burma 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. This film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2010 Academy Awards. The Lady (2011 film) had its world premiere on 12 September 2011 at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival.
2013 Southeast Asian Games
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 Burma. Burma previously hosted the Games in 1961 and 1969.
Burma, which has a total area of 678,500 square kilometres (262,000 sq mi), is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world. It lies between latitudes 9° and 29°N, and longitudes 92° and 102°E. As of February 2011, Burma consisted of 14 states and regions, 67 districts, 330 townships, 64 sub-townships, 377 towns, 2914 Wards, 14220 village tracts and 68290 villages.
It is bordered on the northwest by the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh and the Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states of India. Its north and northeast border straddles the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan province for a Sino-Burman border total of 2,185 km (1,358 mi). It is bounded by Laos and Thailand to the southeast. Burma has 1,930 km (1,200 mi) 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.
In the north, the Hengduan Mountains form the border with China. Hkakabo Razi, located in Kachin State, at an elevation of 5,881 metres (19,295 ft), is the highest point in Burma. Many mountain ranges, such as the Rakhine Yoma, the Bago Yoma, the Shan Hills and the Tenasserim Hills exist within Burma, all of which run north-to-south from the Himalayas. The mountain chains divide Burma's three river systems, which are the Irrawaddy, Salween (Thanlwin), and the Sittaung rivers. The Irrawaddy River, Burma's longest river, nearly 2,170 kilometres (1,348 mi) long, flows into the Gulf of Martaban. Fertile plains exist in the valleys between the mountain chains. The majority of Burma's population lives in the Irrawaddy valley, which is situated between the Rakhine Yoma and the Shan Plateau.
Administrative divisions (regions and states)
The country is divided into seven states (ပြည်နယ်) and seven regions (တိုင်းဒေသကြီး), formerly called divisions. The announcement on the renaming of division to regions was made on 20 August 2010. 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 Burma as of 31 December 2001:
Much 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 5,000 mm (196.9 in) of rain annually. Annual rainfall in the delta region is approximately 2,500 mm (98.4 in), while average annual rainfall in the Dry Zone, which is located in central Burma, is less than 1,000 mm (39.4 in). Northern regions of the country are the coolest, with average temperatures of 21 °C (70 °F). Coastal and delta regions have an average maximum temperature of 32 °C (89.6 °F).
The country'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 Burma, cover over 49% of the country, including areas of acacia, bamboo, ironwood and michelia 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. Heavy logging since the new 1995 forestry law went into effect has seriously reduced forest acreage and wildlife habitat. 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 Burma (the Dry Zone), vegetation is sparse and stunted.
Typical jungle animals, particularly tigers and leopards, occur sparsely in Burma. In upper Burma, there are rhinoceros, wild buffalo, 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 and tapirs. The abundance of birds is notable with over 800 species, including parrots, peafowl, pheasants, crows, herons, and paddybirds. 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. For a list of protected areas, see List of protected areas of Burma.
The general state of health care in Myanmar (Burma) 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. 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.
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 Burma was 1.3% (200,000–570,000 people), according to UNAIDS, and early indicators of any progress against the HIV epidemic are inconsistent. However, the National AIDS Programme Burma found that 32% of sex workers and 43% of intravenous drug users in Burma have HIV.
Burma'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 Burma, per capita, than any other country except India. 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.
In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. 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.
The educational system of Burma is operated by the government agency, the Ministry of Education. Universities and professional institutes from upper Burma and lower Burma are run by two separate entities, the Department of Higher Education of Upper Burma and the Department of Higher Education of Lower Burma. Headquarters are based in Yangon and Mandalay respectively. The education system is based on the United Kingdom's system, due to nearly a century of British and Christian presences in Burma. 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, probably 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 Burma, a total of 146 higher education institutions.
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), Crane International School Yangon (CISM), Yangon International School (YIS) and International School of Myanmar (ISM) in Yangon.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (June 2013)|
Internet access for the public is less than 1%, through Internet cafes. Activity at these businesses is highly regulated. There is censorship, and the authorities take the opportunity to view e-mail and posts in the Internet blogs. At least two Myanmar bloggers have been sent to prison. One of them, known by the name of Zarganar, was sentenced to 59 years in prison for publishing a video of destruction caused by the "Nargis" Cyclone in 2008; Zarganar was released on October 12, 2011.
Units of measurement
According to The World Factbook, Burma is one of three countries along with Liberia and the United States of America that has not adopted the International System of Units (SI) metric system as their official system of weights and measures. The common units of measure are unique to Burma, but the government web pages use both imperial units and metric units. In June 2011, the Burmese government's Ministry of Commerce began discussing proposals to reform the measurement system and adopt the metric system used by most of its trading partners. On 10 October 2013, Dr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister for Commerce, announced that the country is preparing to adopt the metric system
- "The World Factbook – Burma". cia.gov. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Asian Development Bank and Myanmar: Fact Sheet". Asian Development Bank. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Challenges ahead of Myanmar’s first census in 30 years". IRIN. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Burma (Myanmar)". World Economic Outlook Database, October 2013. International Monetary Fund. October 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "2013 Human Development Report Statistics". Human Development Report 2013. United Nations Development Programme. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Myanmar - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Thackrah, J. R. "Definition of Myanmar". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Definition of Myanmar - Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Ammon, Ulrich (2004). Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society. Volume 3/3 (2nd ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 2012. ISBN 3-11-018418-4. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- "Myanmar". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Dougald JW O'Reilly (2007). Early civilizations of Southeast Asia. United Kingdom: Altamira Press. ISBN 0-7591-0279-1.
- Lieberman 2003: 152
- "Burma". Hrw.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Myanmar Human Rights | Amnesty International USA". Amnestyusa.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "World Report 2012: Burma | Human Rights Watch". Hrw.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Aamer Madhani (16 November 2012). "Obama administration eases Burma sanctions before visit". USA Today. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Thomas Fuller; Paul Geitner (23 April 2012). "European Union Suspends Most Myanmar Sanctions". The New York Times.
- Andrew R.C. Marshall. "Muslim, Buddhist mob violence threatens new Myanmar image". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "EU welcomes "measured" Myanmar response to rioting". Retuer. 11 Jun 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Q&A: Communal violence in Burma". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Burma". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "The 2013 Human Development Report – "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World"". HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. pp. 144–147. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- Houtman, Gustaaf (1999). Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics. 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. pp. 43–47. ISBN 978-4-87297-748-6.
- Steinberg, David I. (February 2002). Burma: The State of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press. p. xi.
- "Government of the Union of Burma". Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Dittmer, Lowell (2010). Burma Or Myanmar? The Struggle for National Identity. World Scientific. p. 2. ISBN 9789814313643.
- "Burma or Myanmar? Obama calls it both on visit" (News and blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). Associated Press. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Yangon, Burma (AP) — Officially at least, America still calls this Southeast Asian nation Burma, the favored appellation of dissidents and pro-democracy activists who opposed the former military junta's move to summarily change its name 23 years ago."
- "Hosting Burma’s Leader, Obama Repeatedly Calls the Country ‘Myanmar’". CNS News. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Burma (Myanmar)
- "Burma vs. Myanmar: What's in a Name". DW. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Mudditt, Jassica (19 November 2012). "Burma or Myanmar: Will the US make the switch?". Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Myanmar country brief". Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- http://www.ambafrance-mm.org/Birmanie-ou-Myanmar-Le-vrai-faux accessed on 27 January 2014
- "Sala de Imprensa: Situação em Mianmar". Institutional website (Itamaraty). 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Bowman, John Stewart Bowman (2013). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. p. 476. ISBN 9780231500043.
- Cooler 2002: Chapter 1
- Myint-U 2006: 37
- Myint-U 2006: 45
- Hudson 2005: 1
- Hall 1960: 8–10
- Moore 2007: 236
- Myint-U 2006: 51–52
- Lieberman 2003: 90–91
- Lieberman 2003: 24
- Htin Aung 1967: 63–65
- Lieberman 2003: 134
- Myint-U 2006: 64–65
- Lieberman 2003: 184–187
- Myint-U 2006: 109
- Lieberman 2003: 202–206
- Collis, Maurice (1945). Trials in Burma.
- Bechert, Heinz (1984). The World of Buddhism-Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture. New York, N.Y.: Facts on File. ISBN 978-0-87196-982-8.
- Will Bennett (20 August 1995). "Chindits remember their fallen comrades". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "China-Burma-India: Merrill's Marauders. Veterans History Project, Library of Congress". Loc.gov. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Philip Towle; Margaret Kosuge; Yōichi Kibata (2000). Japanese prisoners of war. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 48. ISBN 1-85285-192-9.
- Fellowes-Gordon, Ian (1971). The Battle For Naw Seng's Kingdom: General Stilwel.
- 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. 556
- Werner 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.)
- Kyaw Zwa Moe (August 1977). "Author Discusses Martyrs’ Day Assassination of Aung San". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 20 October 2013.[dead link]
- Houtman, Gustaaf (1999). Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy. Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. ISBN 4-87297-748-3.
- "The Constitution of the Union of Burma". DVB. 1947. Archived from the original on 15 June 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2006.
- Smith, Martin (1991). Burma -Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London and New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 42–43.
- Aung Zaw. "Can Another Asian Fill U Thant's Shoes?". The Irrawaddy September 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2012.[dead link]
- Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-16342-1.
- Fink, Christina (2001). Living Silence:Burma under Military Rule. Bangkok: White Lotus. ISBN 1-85649-926-X.
- Tallentire, Mark (28 September 2007). "The Burma road to ruin". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law". State Law and Order Restoration Council. iBiblio.org. 31 May 1989. Retrieved 11 July 2006.
- Khin Kyaw Han (1 February 2003). "1990 Multi-party Democracy General Elections". National League for Democracy. iBiblio.org. Retrieved 11 July 2006.
- "Burma's new capital stages parade". BBC News. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2006.
- "Burma leaders double fuel prices". BBC News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Booth, Jenny (24 September 2007). "Military junta threatens monks in Burma". The Times (London). Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "100,000 Protestors Flood Streets of Rangoon in "Saffron Revolution"".
- Christina Fink (2009). "The Moment of the Monks: Burma, 2007". In Adam Roberts; Timothy Garton Ash. Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. Oxford University Press. pp. 354–70. ISBN 978-0-19-955201-6.
- "UN envoy warns of Myanmar crisis". English.aljazeera.net. Retrieved 2012-11-20.[dead link]
- Fountain, Henry. "Aid arrives in Myanmar as death toll passes 22,000, but worst-hit area still cut off –". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Official: UN plane lands in Myanmar with aid after cyclone". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Rachel Stevenson, Julian Borger, Ian MacKinnon (9 May 2008). "Burma snubs foreign aid workers". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 9 May 2008.
- "Burma: imperialists exploit natural disaster to promote regime change". Proletarian Online. June 2008.
- "Fighting forces up to 30,000 to flee Myanmar". MSNBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Agence France-Presse (27 August 2009). "More fighting feared as thousands flee Burma". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 28 August 2009.[dead link]
- Fuller, Thomas (28 August 2009). "Refugees Flee to China as Fighting Breaks Out in Myanmar". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- "Thousands Flee Burma Violence". BBC News. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- Andrew Marshall (11 April 2011). "The Slow Thaw of Burma's Notorious Military Junta". The Times (UK). Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls". Transnational Institute – Burma Project. TNI. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- MacFarquhar, Neil (21 October 2010). "U.N. Doubts Fairness of Election in Myanmar". New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Buente, Marco (July 5, 2013). "Burma's Transition to Quasi-Miltary Rule: From Rulers to Guardians". Armed Forces & Society. Online First Before Print. doi:10.1177/0095327X13492943.
- David Loyn (19 November 2011). "Obstacles lie ahead in Burma's bid for reform". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Hepler, Lauren; Voorhees, Josh (1 December 2011). "Budding Friendship on Display as Clinton, Burma’s Suu Kyi Meet Again". Slate. Associated Press. Retrieved 1 April 2013. "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"
- Steven Lee Myers (2 December 2011). "Clinton Says U.S. Will Relax Some Restrictions on Myanmar". The New York Times. p. A6. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to visit Burma". BBC. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "Myanmar set to release some 70 prisoners". The Myanmar Times. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Weng, Lawi (24 July 2013). "Burma Govt Releases 73 Political Prisoners". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Golluoglu, Esmer (4 February 2012). "Aung San Suu Kyi hails "new era" for Burma after landslide victory". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "Burma Election Is Test of Progress". Freedom House. Freedom House. 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Restricted Areas in Burma". Tourism Burma. Tourism Burma. 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Thomas Fuller (April 4, 2013). "Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy". The New York Times.
- Nang Mya Nadi (25 September 2012). "Displaced by fighting, villagers take shelter in Hpakant". Democratic Voice of Burma. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Blood and Gold: Inside Burma's Hidden War". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2012.
- "About 75,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar camps: Refugee International". The Hindu. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Samantha Power (9 November 2012). "Supporting Human Rights in Burma". The White House Blog. The White House. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Myanmar Shan refugees struggle at Thai border". Al Jazeera. 2 October 2012.
- Saw Khar Su Nyar (KIC) (16 March 2012). "Karen fighters and Burma Army soldiers killed over ceasefire breech". Karen News. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Myanmar: Karen groups cautious on peace initiative". IRIN. 5 March 2012.
- "Reuters, Cyclone-hit Myanmar says 92 percent back charter". In.reuters.com. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- MacFarquhar, Neil (22 October 2010). "U.N. Doubts Fairness of Election in Myanmar". The New York Times.
- Lalit K Jha (21 May 2009). "2010 Burmese Election may be Illegitimate: Clinton". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Western states dismiss Burma's election". BBC. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- Tisdall, Simon (4 July 2011). "Aung San Suu Kyi has to tread softly – but governments must tell it like it is". The Guardian (UK).
- Peter Walker. "''Guardian'' report on Aung's release from house arrest". Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Suu Kyi's NLD democracy party to rejoin Burma politics". BBC. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- "cpi 2008 table /cpi2008/2008/in focus/news room". Transparency.org. Retrieved 17 April 2010.[dead link]
- "Burma Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003". United States Library of Congress. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
- Steven Lee Myers; Seth Mydans (13 January 2012). "U.S. to Renew Myanmar Ties in Light of Reforms". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "The EU's relations with Burma / Myanmar". European Union. Archived from the original on 25 July 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
- "Overview of Burma sanctions". BBC. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "David Cameron calls for Burma sanctions to be suspended". BBC News. 13 April 2012.
- "Burma, India to sign accord on use of India's remote sensing satellite data". NewsLibrary.com. 9 March 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "India looks to Burma to slake growing thirst for gas". csmonitor.com. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Myanmar, India to build IT centres in Myanmar_English_Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "India to develop two hydel power projects in Myanmar - 56908". Steelguru.com. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "BBC News". BBC News. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "India and Burma: time to choose (Human Rights Watch, 14-1-2008)". Hrw.org. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "The Barefoot Diplomat: Hillary Clinton Begins Landmark Visit to Burma". TIME (Time.com). 1 December 2011. Retrieved 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, Burma, 1 Dec. 2011."
- "Burma's Suu Kyi begins landmark US visit" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). AP. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "WASHINGTON (AP) — 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."
- "Burma's president to make historic US visit" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). AP. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "YANGON, Burma (AP) — Burma'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."
- "Obama Vows US Support As Myanmar Leader Visits". NPR. Associated Press. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.[dead link]
- "Pheonix Voyages appointed travel manager for Myanmar’s first major summit". TTGmice. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Wade, Francis (22 October 2012). "What was Tony Blair doing in Burma?" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). Retrieved 19 November 2012. "The word out of Burma over the weekend was that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had paid a visit."
- "President José Manuel Barroso - Supporting lasting peace in Myanmar". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "EC Audiovisual Service - Photo". Ec.europa.eu. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- by Samantha Hawley (6 November 2012). "Australia's PM holds historic talks with Burmese leader,". Radio Australia. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- ScandAsia, Swedish PM to visit Myanmar and Indonesia on 12-14 Nov, expects to meet Then Sein and Suu Kyi,9 November 2012, Sippachai Kunnuwong[dead link]
- Arakan, Displaced, Francis Wade, The Revealer, 17 December 2012[dead link]
- Head, Jonathon (19 November 2012). "US President Obama hails Burma's "remarkable journey"" (text and video). BBC News (BBC.com). Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Burma is on a "remarkable journey" of reform that has much further to go, Barack Obama said as he made the first visit to the South East Asian nation by a serving US president."
- Zin Linn (20 November 2012). "President Obama rejuvenates Rangoon University of Burma" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). Retrieved 20 November 2012. "People of Burma ... satisfied with the choice of a venue made by the U.S. President ..."
- Edward Cody (27 September 2007). "Caution by Junta's Asian Neighbors Reflects Their Self-Interest". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "India's Role in Burma's Crisis". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Burma to chair ASEAN in 2014". The Daily Telegraph (London). 17 November 2011.
- Randeep Ramesh, South Asia correspondent (5 November 2008). "Bangladesh sends warship to Burma in gas row | World news". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "For Rohingya in Bangladesh, No Place is Home". Time. 19 February 2010.
- Starck, Peter (7 June 2005). "World Military Spending Topped US$1 trillion in 2004". Common Dreams NewsCenter. Reuters. Retrieved 19 July 2006.
- "Russia and Burma in Nuclear Deal". BBC. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2011.[dead link]
- Moore, Malcolm (14 January 2011). "Nuclear Watchdog asks Burma to Open Up Suspect Sites". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "Alleged North Korean Involvement in Missile Assembly and Underground Facility Construction in Burma". Wikileaks.ch. 27 August 2004.
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 83 session 54 page 30, The President on 17 December 1999 at 10:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 81 session 55 page 22, The President on 4 December 2000 at 15:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 92 session 56 page 7 on 24 December 2001 at 11:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 69 session 60 page 19, The President on 23 December 2005 at 10:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 84 session 61 page 14 on 22 December 2006 at 10:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations Security Council Document 14 S-2007-14 on 12 January 2007 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- United Nations Security Council Verbotim Report meeting 5619 page 3, Mr. Kumalo South Africa on 12 January 2007 at 16:00 (retrieved 25 September 2007)
- "The World's Most Repressive Regimes 2013". Geneva: Freedom House. 2003. pp. vii–7. "Burma continues to be ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes."
- Howse, Robert; Jared M. Genser. "Are EU Trade Sanctions On Burma Compatible With WTO Law?". Are EU Trade Sanctions on Burma Compatible with WTO Law?: 166+. Retrieved 7 November 2010. "repressive and abusive military regime" [dead link]
- "List of UN General Assembly Resolutions On Burma". Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "UN General Assembly Resolution: Time for Concrete Action" (Press release). International Federation for Human Rights. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Brad Adams. "Statement to the EU Development Committee". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 11 July 2006.
- Brad Adams. "Amnesty International 2009 Report on Human Rights in Myanmar". Amnesty International. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "Satellite Images Verify Myanmar Forced Relocations, Mounting Military Presence". ScienceMode. Retrieved 1 October 2007.[dead link]
- "Myanmar: Final push on political prisoners needed". 27 September 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Burma Frees 56 Political Prisoners". Voice of America. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- "2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Thailand". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Guardia, Anton La (24 June 2005). "Burma's 'slow genocide' is revealed through the eyes of its child victims". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Jerome Taylor (19 June 2012). "Two Burmese children a week conscripted into military". The Independent,. Retrieved 15 May 2103.
- "Press Conference on Action Plan to End Recruitment of Child Soldiers in Myanmar". Un.org. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Lawi Weng (5 September 2012). "ILO in Talks with Kachins over Child Soldiers". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "No end in sight amid season of slaughter". Bangkok Post. 23 December 2012.
- "Myanmar: 10th anniversary of military repression". Amnesty International. 7 August 1998. Archived from the original on 24 August 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2006.
- "State of Terror report" (PDF). Women's League of Burma. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
- Jonathan Head (5 February 2009). "What drive the Rohingya to sea?". BBC. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in South East Asia, editor=Tan, Andrew T. H., chapter=Chapter 16, State Terrorism in Arakan, author=Islam, Syed Serajul Islam. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2007. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-84542-543-2.
- Mark Dummett (18 February 2010). "Bangladesh accused of 'crackdown' on Rohingya refugees". BBC. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Myanmar, Bangladesh leaders 'to discuss Rohingya'". AFP. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Lucas Bento and Guled Yusuf (9 October 2012). "The Rohingya: Unwanted at Home, Unwelcome Abroad'". The Diplomat.
- "Rohingyas are not citizens: Myanmar minister". 30 July 2012.
- Bassam, T (2007). Political Islam, World Politics and Europe: Democratic Peace and EuroIslam versus Global Jihad. New York: Routledge.
- Field-Marshal Viscount William Slim (2009). Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942–1945. London: Pan. ISBN 0-330-50997-7.
- AAP (27 March 2013). "'Brutal efficiency' in Myanmar attacks: UN". The Australian. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- The Times (24 April 2013). "Myanmar violence abetted by army". The Australian. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Burma unrest: UN body says 90,000 displaced by violence". BBC News. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Buchanan-Hamilton, Francis (1799). "A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire". Asiatic Researches (The Asiatic Society) 5: 219–240. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "Four killed as Rohingya Muslims riot in Myanmar: government". Reuters. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Lauras, Didier (15 September 2012). "Myanmar stung by global censure over unrest". Agence France-Presse in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Hindstorm, Hanna (28 June 2012). "Burmese authorities targeting Rohingyas, UK parliament told". Democratic Voice of Burma. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "UN refugee agency redeploys staff to address humanitarian needs in Myanmar". UN News. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Linn Htet (11 June 2012). "အ႘ရး႘ပၚအ႘ျခအ႘န ႘ၾကညာခ်က႙ ႏုိင႙ငံ႘ရးသမားမ်ား ႘ထာက႙ခံ". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- Keane, Fergal (11 June 2012). "Old tensions bubble in Burma". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- "UN focuses on Myanmar amid Muslim plight". PressTV. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Hindstorm, Hanna (25 July 2012). "Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Roughneen, Simon (15 August 2012). "MediaShift. In Burma, a Delicate Balance for New Freedoms of Speech". PBS. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Major Reform Underway". Crisis Group. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.[dead link]
- "Freedom in the World 2012: Burma". Freedom House. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Freedom House (2013). "Burma". Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Burma gets rights commission". Australia Network News. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- Kyaw Hsu Mon (19–25 September 2011). "Anyeint group returns from exile in Thailand". MM Times. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- Lindsay Murdoch (29 September 2011). "Burma flags mass release of political prisoners". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "Free press is the key to Myanmar reform". AFP. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.[dead link]
- Andrew Buncombe (17 September 2011). "Burmese junta relaxes access to foreign websites". The Independent (London). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- Working Through Ambiguity: International NGOs in Myanmar. Soubhik Ronnie Saha The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Harvard University September 2011
- Andrew Woodcock (16 July 2013). "No more political prisoners: Myanmar". The Australian. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Brown, Ian (2005). A Colonial Economy In Crisis. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-30580-2.
- "Challenges to Democratization in Burma" (PDF). International IDEA. November 2001. Retrieved 12 July 2006.
- Simon Roughneen (20 October 2012). "Burma just opened up after 50 years. But where are all the tourists?". The Christian Science Monitor.
- McCartan, Brian (28 February 2012). "Myanmar military in the money". Asia Times. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Brady, Brendan (7 September 2012). "Boom Days In Burma". Newsweek. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Index of Economic Freedom: Burma". 2009.
- Hafez Ahmed (25 June 2012). "Myanmar President due July 15". Thefinancialexpress-bd.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Only under-license medicine to be produced in Myanmar". Eleven Media Group. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Hargreaves, Steve (2013-06-18). "Myanmar: Tales from the last business frontier". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Fullbrook, David (4 November 2004). "So long US, hello China, India". Asia Times. Retrieved 14 July 2006.
- Watkins, Thayer. "Political and Economic History of Myanmar (Burma) Economics". San Jose State University. Retrieved 8 July 2006.
- "List of Least Developed Countries". UN-OHRLLS. 2005.
- PDF (21.2 KB), Facts About Cooperation, International Rice Research Institute. Retrieved on 25 September 2007.
- "Faostat". Faostat.fao.org. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Myanmar Country Profile" (PDF). Office on Drugs and Crime. United Nations. December 2005. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
- Drug Policy Briefing nr.29 of the Transnational Institute.
- "Gems of Burma and their Environmental Impact". Uvm.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Burma: Gem Trade Bolsters Military Regime, Fuels Atrocities". Human Rights Watch. 11 November 2007.
- Shane Ferro (19 July 2011). "Burmese Gem Emporium Rakes in $1.5 Billion Despite Human Rights Abuse Concerns". Blouin ARTINFO. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Visitors By Nationalities". myanmar-tourism.com. Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- tayza thuria (24 December 2006). "Burma Digest". Tayzathuria.org.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2010.[dead link]
- "Myanmar Travel Agency". birma.com. p. Tourist Destinations. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "The Tourism Campaign – Campaigns". The Burma Campaign UK. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Getting there & away". lonelyplanet.com. lonelyplanet.com. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "International airlines to open direct flights to Myanmar". Eleven Media Group. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Federal Register August 16, 2005 (PDF) (31 CFR Part 537 ed.). U.S. Department of the Treasury. 16. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Burma Sanctions". Resource Center. U.S. Department of the Treasury. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Burma". Federal Register 77 (135): 41243–41245. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Hiatt, Fred (23 June 2003). "How Best to Rid the World of Monsters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 May 2006.[dead link]
- "Reuters Belgian group seeks Total boycott over Myanmar". Ibiblio (Reuters). 10 May 1999. Retrieved 24 June 2006.
- "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers". U.S. Department of the Treasury. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers". U.S. Department of the Treasury. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers". U.S. Department of the Treasury. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Aung Hla Htun (16 March 2012). "Exclusive: Myanmar drafts new foreign investment rules". Reuters. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Yap, Karl Lester M. (1 March 2012). "ADB Preparing First Myanmar Projects in 25 Years as Thein Opens". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Holmes, Sam (2012-09-28). "Myanmar Awaits Sanction-Lift Effect - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Population and Social Integration Section (PSIS)". UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
- "Conflict and Displacement in Karenni: The Need for Considered Responses" (PDF). Burma Ethnic Research Group. May 2000. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
- "Thailand: The Plight of Burmese Migrant Workers". Amnesty International. 8 June 2006. Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
- "Myanmar Refugees in South East Asia" (PDF). UNHCR. April 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
- "From tropical Burma to Syracuse, refugees adjust". Cbsnews.com. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Office Of Refugee Resettlement: Data[dead link]". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Page 8 Column 4[dead link]
- Martin Smith (1991). Burma – Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London, New Jersey: Zed Books. pp. 43–44, 98, 56–57, 176.
- "Asians v. Asians.". Time. 17 July 1964. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Burma's Muslim Rohingyas – The New Boat People. Marwaan Macan-Markar. IPS.". Ipsnews.net. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Peter Ford (12 June 2012). "Why deadly race riots could rattle Myanmar's fledgling reforms". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (2005). "Languages of Myanmar". SIL International. Retrieved 14 July 2006.
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (2005). "Language Family Trees: Sino-Tibetan". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. SIL International. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
- "Adult (15+) Literacy Rates and Illiterate Population by Region and Gender for" (XLS). UNESCO Institute of Statistics. April 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2006.[dead link]
- Robert I Rotberg, ed. (1998). Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future.
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (2005). "Languages of Myanmar". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. SIL International. Retrieved 13 January 2007.
- "Background Note: Burma". Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. U.S. Department of State. August 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2006.
- Mya Than (1997). Leo Suryadinata, ed. Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians.
- "Myanmar refugees to try resettling". The Japan Times Online. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Buddhanet.net". Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "Proposal for encoding characters for Myanmar minority languages in the UCS" (PDF). International Organization for Standardization. 2 April 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
- Tsaya (1886). Myam-ma, the home of the Burman. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink and Co. pp. 36–37.
- Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project: Burma. Pew Research Center. 2010.
- "Ethnic and Religious Diversity: Myanmar's Unfolding Nemesis", Matthews, Bruce, Institute of South East Asian Studies, Visiting Researcher Series, Volume 2001, No. 3. 2001.
- Thailand Burma Border Consortium (2007). "Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma 2006 Survey". Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
- Priestly, Harry (17 January 2006). "The Outsiders". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 7 July 2006.[dead link]
- Samuel Ngun Ling (2003). "The Encounter of Missionary Christianity and Resurgent Buddhism in Post-colonial Myanmar" (PDF). Payap University. Archived from the original on 2 March 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2006.
- Dummett, Mark (29 September 2007). "Burmese exiles in desperate conditions". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Burma-International Religious Freedom Report 2007". U.S. Department of State.
- "CIA Factbook – Burma". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2007 – Burma". State.gov. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs – Background Note: Burma". State.gov. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Burma—International Religious Freedom Report 2010". U.S. Department of State. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- Aung-Thwin 2005: 31–34
- Lieberman 2003: 115–116
- "Ramayana in Myanmar's heart". Goldenland Pages. 13 September 2003. Retrieved 13 July 2006.
- Temple, R. C. (1906). The Thirty-seven Nats-A Phase of Spirit-Worship prevailing in Burma.
- "The Worshipping of Nats – The Special Festival of Mount Popa". Myanmar Travel Information. Archived from the original on 23 June 2006. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Khin Myo Chit (1980). Flowers and Festivals Round the Burmese Year.
- Shway Yoe (1882). The Burman – His Life and Notions. New York: Norton Library 1963. pp. 211–216, 317–319.
- Martin, Steven (March 2004). "Burma maintains bygone buildings". BBC News. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
- Scott O'Connor, V. C. (1904). The Silken East – A Record of Life and Travel in Burma. Scotland 1993: Kiscadale. p. 32.
- "Burma Abolishes Censorship". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Jonathan Head. "BBC News - US President Obama hails Burma's "remarkable journey"". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Azhar Sukri (1 April 2013). "Myanmar shows new signs of press freedom". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- Aung Zaw, "Celluloid Disillusions," Irrawaddy, vol. 12, no. 3, March 2004[dead link]
- Kyi Soe Tun quoted in the Bangkok Post, August 11, 2006
- [dead link]
- "Burma VJ – Academy Award Nominee – Best Documentary Feature". Burmavjmovie.com. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Burma VJ Nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Rev. Danny Fisher". Dannyfisher.org. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "Myanmar prepares for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- Dr. Patrick Hesp et al., ed. (2000). Geographica's World Reference. Random House Australia. pp. 738, 741.
- Than, Mya (2005). Myanmar in ASEAN: Regional Co-operation Experience. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-230-210-7.
- Thein, Myat (2005). Economic Development of Myanmar. Singapore: Inst. of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-230-211-5.
- "Myanmar. States & Regions". Myanmar's NET.
- "တိုင်းခုနစ်တိုင်းကို တိုင်းဒေသကြီးများအဖြစ် လည်းကောင်း၊ ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ တိုင်းနှင့် ကိုယ်ပိုင်အပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ ဒေသများ ရုံးစိုက်ရာ မြို့များကို လည်းကောင်း ပြည်ထောင်စုနယ်မြေတွင်ခရိုင်နှင့်မြို့နယ်များကို လည်းကောင်း သတ်မှတ်ကြေညာ". Weekly Eleven News (in Burmese). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- 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
- "Myanmar's Forest Law and Rules". BurmaLibrary.org. Retrieved 15 July 2006.
- Reid, Robert; Bindloss, Joseph; Butler, Stuart (2009). "Environment: National Parks". Myanmar (Burma) (10th ed.). Footscray, Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-74104-718-9.
- ""Flora and Fauna" at". Myanmars.net. Retrieved 17 April 2010.[dead link]
- "PPI: Almost Half of All World Health Spending is in the United States". 17 January 2007.[dead link]
- Yasmin Anwar (28 June 2007). "Burma junta faulted for rampant diseases". UC Berkeley News.
- "At a glance: Myanmar – statistics". UNICEF. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
- "A scaled-up response to AIDS in Asia and the Pacific" (PDF). UNAIDS. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
- "Asia" (PDF). UNAIDS. December 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
- [dead link]
- Chronicle of National Development Comparison Between Period Preceding 1988 and after (up to 31 December 2006).
- "The World Factbook, Appendix G: Weights and Measures". Web Pages. Central Intelligence Agency. 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Ministry of Agriculture and Information". Web Page. Myanmar Agriculture. 2009-2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "About Myanmar : Geography". Web Page. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010.[dead link]
- Ko Ko Gyi (18–24 July 2011). "Ditch the viss, govt urges traders". Retrieved 20 July 2011.
- "Myanmar to adopt metric system". www.elevenmyanmar.com. Eleven Media Group. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Aung-Thwin, Michael A. (2005). The Mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma (illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2886-8.
- Charney, Michael W. (1999). History of Modern Burma. Cambridge University Press.
- Cooler, Richard M. (2002). "The Art and Culture of Burma". DeKalb: Northern Illinois University.
- Hall, D.G.E. (1960). Burma (3rd ed.). Hutchinson University Library. ISBN 978-1-4067-3503-1.
- Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.
- Hudson, Bob (March 2005). "A Pyu Homeland in the Samon Valley: a new theory of the origins of Myanmar's early urban system". Myanmar Historical Commission Golden Jubilee International Conference
- Kemp, Hans (2013). Burmese Light, Impressions of the Golden Land (illustrated with text by Tom Vater ed.). Visionary World.
- Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7.
- Moore, Elizabeth H. (2007). Early Landscapes of Myanmar. Bangkok: River Books. ISBN 974-9863-31-3.
- Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.
- Cady, John F. (1958). A History of Modern Burma. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. xiii, 682, 34 p. N.B.: The last group of 34 p. is the supplement, "The Swing of the Pendalum", first included at the time of the 1960 printing.
- Vater, Tom, and Hans Kemp. "Burmese Light: Impressions of a Golden Land." Hong Kong: Visionary World, 2013. Print.
|Find more about Burma at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Definitions and translations from Wiktionary|
|Media from Commons|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Travel guide from Wikivoyage|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|
- Chief of State and Cabinet Members. Last Updated: 18 Oct 2012 from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- General information
- General information about Myanmar
- Burma Myanmar search Engine
- Burma entry at The World Factbook
- Burma from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Burma on the Open Directory Project
- Burma profile from the BBC News
- Myanmar at Encyclopædia Britannica
- Wikimedia Atlas of Myanmar
- Interactive timeline of turning points in Burmese history
- Key Development Forecasts for Myanmar from International Futures
- Online Burma/Myanmar Library: Classified and annotated links to more than 17,000 full-text documents on Burma/Myanmar
- Taipei American Chamber of Commerce; Topics Magazine, Analysis, November 2012. Myanmar: Southeast Asia's Last Frontier for Investment, BY DAVID DUBYNE