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Republic of the Union of Myanmar

ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်
Flag of Burma
Location of  Myanmar  (green)in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Myanmar  (green)

in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

Capital Naypyidawa
Official languages Burmese
Burmese script
Ethnic groups
Demonym(s) Burmese / Myanma
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Thein Sein
Legislature Assembly of the Union
House of Nationalities
House of Representatives
23 December 849
16 October 1510
29 February 1752
4 January 1948
2 March 1962
30 March 2011
• Total
676,578 km2 (261,228 sq mi) (40th)
• Water (%)
• 2010 estimate
60,280,000[1] (24th[2])
• 1983 census
• Density
73.9/km2 (191.4/sq mi) (119th)
Map of Myanmar.

Myanmar, officially called the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and also known as Burma, is the largest country in South East Asia that is not an island, partly considered as South Asian. It is bordered by China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, and the India on the northwest, with the Andaman Sea to the south, and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest. There are over 2,000 kilometers (1,243 mi) of coast line. The country was ruled by a military junta led by General Ne Win from 1962 to 1988, and its political system today stays under the tight control of its military government. Since 1992, Myanmar has been ruled by Senior General Than Shwe.

National symbols of Myanmar

Origin and history of the name

In 1989, the military junta officially changed the English version of its name from Burma to Myanmar. It also made a new name in English for places in the country, such as its former capital city, from Rangoon to Yangon. The official name of the country in the Burmese language, Myanma did not change, however. The renaming was controversial, seen by some as linguistically bad. Accepting the name change in the English-speaking world has been slow, with many people still using the name Burma to refer to the country. Major news organizations like the BBC still call it Burma. Some question the military junta's authority to "officially" change the name in English in the first place. Aung San Suu Kyi, however, calls the country Myanmar now.


Myanmar had a strong kingdom in ancient times, but the nation was taken over by the British in the 1800s. It was occupied by the Empire of Japan in the 1940s. Myanmar became independent in 1948 as the Union of Burma, and had a democratic government at first. However, in 1962, a coup d'état brought the military into power, where it has been ever since. The founder of modern Myanmar, Aung San was assassinated months before independence. His daughter Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest many times for leading the democracy movement.

In 1991, the military junta agreed to democratic elections, which were won by the National League for Democracy, and should have made Aung San Suu Kyi the Prime Minister. However, the dictatorship ignored the results of the elections and continued ruling. In November 2005, the military government stated that the national capital would be moved from Yangon to a location near Pyinmana, which was renamed Naypyidaw in March 2006.

Since independence in 1948 and the assassination of Aung San Burma has had civil wars between its governments and minority ethnic groups like the Kachin, Karen, Shan and others. These conflicts are known as the Internal conflict in Burma.


Today, there are 14 sections. 7 are called states and the other 7 are called divisions.

The divisions are split into townships. The townships are divided into villages and wards.

Largest cities

2006 Rank City 1983 Census 2006 Estimate State/Region
1. Yangon (Rangoon) 2,513,023 4,572,948 Yangon Region
2. Mandalay 532,949 1,237,028 Mandalay Region
3. Naypyidaw (Nay Pyi Taw) * 0 924,608 Naypyidaw Union Territory
4. Mawlamyaing 219,961 451,011 Mon State
5. Bago 150,528 248,899 Bago Region
6. Pathein 144,096 241,624 Ayeyarwady Region
7. Monywa 106,843 185,783 Sagaing Region
8. Meiktila 96,492 181,744 Mandalay Region
9. Sittwe 107,621 181,172 Rakhine State
10. Mergui 88,600 177,961 Tanintharyi Region
11. Taunggyi 108,231 162,396 Shan State


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