Union of Burma (previously Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma)
Capital: Rangoon (Yangon)
Independence: 4 January 1948
Government: Military Junta
Political Parties: National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, AUNG SAN SUU KYI]; National Unity Party or NUP (pro-regime) [TUN YE]; Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [HKUN HTUN OO]; and other smaller parties
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand.
Land area: 657, 740 sq km
Water area: 20, 760 sq km.
Bordering countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km.
Population: 47, 758, 181
Ethnic groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%
Religions practiced: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%
More information & reference:
Much of Burma is acknowledged through the presence of the National League for Democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1991. She is currently under house arrest and has been under house arrest since winning elections in 1990.
To read more on her biography:
Aung San Suu Kyi has in many occasion performed protests although under detention. Just recently, she refused food from her party members and also refused to meet the local government officials as well as United Nations envoy, Ibrahim Gambari. This is seen as a protest by her at the failure of the government towards a democratic reform.
To continue reading:
In May 2008, Burma was hit by passing Cyclone Nargis which was formed at the Bay of Bengal. Cyclone Nargis had killed more than 10, 000 and caused thousands more to be missing. Assistance has since poured in from all around the world, however it is doubtful as to whether the aid actually reaches the surviving victims. There has been word that the junta has been controlling the amount of aid that the victims receive.
Cyclone Nargis Information:
There’s actually not much information available about Burma. This is probably because of its’ closed door policy to the outside world.
I have had Burmese classmates in the past and they have expressed disappointment to the Government and hope that the democratic process can be improved so that the country can be more economically viable and attractive to investors and tourists. At this current point, Myanmar is one of the most impoverished nations in ASEAN and the world.