Myanmar

Asia Zawgyi Travel, DMC

THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR

ပြည်ထောင်စုသမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်

MYANMAR, formerly known as BURMA, is the largest country in South East Asia. Population of just over fifty-three million is a culturally rich mix of more than a hundred ethnic groups and dialects. Strategically situated between the world’s two most populous nations, China and India. Myanmar has a distinctive ancient culture, sharing traditions with both neighbors.

In the 19th century, Burmese rulers sought to maintain their traditional influence in the western areas of Assam, Manipur and Arakan. Pressing them, however, was the British East India Company, which was expanding its interests eastwards over the same territory. Over the next sixty years, diplomacy, raids, treaties and compromises, known collectively as the Anglo-Burmese Wars, continued until Britain proclaimed control over most of Burma. With the fall of Mandalay, all of Burma came under British rule, being annexed on 1 January 1886.

On 1 April 1937, Burma became a separately administered colony of Britain, and Ba Maw became the first Prime Minister and Premier of Burma. Ba Maw was an outspoken advocate for Burmese self-rule, and he opposed the participation of 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 warAung San formed the Burma Independence Army in Japan.

As a major battleground, Burma was devastated during World War II by the Japanese invasion. 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. 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.

Following World War IIAung San negotiated the Panglong Agreement with ethnic leaders that guaranteed the independence of Myanmar as a unified state. Aung Zan Wai, Pe Khin, Bo Hmu Aung, Sir Maung Gyi, Sein Mya Maung, Myoma U Than Kywe were among the negotiators of the historic Panglong Conference negotiated with Bamar leader General Aung San and other ethnic leaders in 1947. In 1947, Aung San became Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council of Myanmar, a transitional government. But in July 1947, political rivals assassinated Aung San and several cabinet members.

On 4 January 1948, the nation became an independent republic, under the terms of the Burma Independence Act 1947. The new country was named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first president and U Nu as its first prime minister. Unlike most other former British colonies and overseas territories, Burma did not become a member of the Commonwealth. A bicameral parliament was formed, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Nationalities, and multi-party elections were held in 1951–19521956 and 1960.

On 2 March 1962, the military led by General Ne Win took control of Burma through a coup d’état, and the government had been under direct or indirect control by the military since then. Between 1962 and 1974, Myanmar was ruled by a revolutionary council headed by the general. Almost all aspects of society (business, media, production) were nationalised or brought under government control under the Burmese Way to Socialism. 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, Myanmar became one of the world’s most impoverished countries.

Burma was known as “the rice bowl of Asia” in the late 1950s, and was the leading economic state of the region when its fledgling democratic government was deposed by a xenophobic military dictator. In August 1988, become well known uprising which is 8-8-88 was a political turning point. Even so, people suffered for another quarter of a century under different military rulers before Myanmar finally emerge from dark days, electing a new, mainly democratic, parliament in 2012, although seats are still reserve for military representatives.

A quasi-civilian government was formed, and today further democratic reforms are underway as Myanmar approaches fresh elections. Its most famous political detainee, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Laureate, who was released after nearly twenty years of under house arrest in 2010, and appointed as a State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar after 2015 general election. Again, The allegedly governing National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, contested against a number of minor parties in Myanmar’s 2020 parliamentary election. However, on the morning of February 1, 2021, some NLD party officials were seized by the military on suspicion of election fraud and corruption. The Military Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing appointed a caretaker administration, and the government and State Administrative Council announced that a free and fair election would be held in August 2022.

The most fascinating aspect of Myanmar history is its chronology, which includes many national flags and political systems from before and after independence. In summary, there are eight major periods, which are as follows:

British Government Period

Union Jack Flag (1885-1937)

Following British forces’ conquest of Mandalay Palace, King Thibaw, the last ruler of the Konboung Empire, was exiled to Ratnagiri, India. Soon after, the British claimed that Myanmar was part of British India.

British India Period

British Raj Flag (1886-1937)

Myanmar as a pert of British Indai the flag we used this British Raj Flag from (1886-1937)

British Burma Period

British Burma Flag (1937-1942)

In terms of separation from India. This is the first step towards independence. Myanmar’s resistance forces have called for the country’s separation from India. In 1937, the British government declared Myanmar to be a British Burma with its own Governor General and legislative body.

Japanese Occupation Period

Japanese Military Administration Flag (1942-1943)

During WWII, Myanmar was occupied by Japan. During the Japanese Military Administration, Myanmar flew the Japanese flag.

State of Burma

State of Burma Flag (1943-1945)

In 1943, the Japanese government granted Myanmar independence as the State of Burma. Dr. Ba Maw was appointed chancellor of the state of Burma, but only as a puppet of the Japanese Emperor.

British Burma Flag

British Burma Flag (1945-1948)

Beginning in late 1944, allied troops launched a series of offensives that led to the end of Japanese rule in July 1945. The battles were intense with much of Burma laid waste by the fighting. Following World War II, Aung San negotiated the Panglong Agreement with ethnic leaders that guaranteed the independence of Myanmar as a unified state.

The Parliament Period

Union of Burma Flag (1948-1974)

Myanmar gained independence as a sovereign state six months after Bogyoke Aung San and his cabinet members were assassinated in the Secretariat in Yangon, thanks to the strength and efforts of the leaders. Following independence, Myanmar became the Union of Burma and the first flag was hoisted for the first time at 4:25 AM on 4 January 1948 when Burma gained independence. The flag consisted of a red field defaced with a blue canton. The blue canton was charged with one large white star surrounded by five smaller stars between its rays. The big white star in the canton and the red field honour the Resistance Flag and indicate the anti-fascist struggle. The four small white stars between the rays of the big white star symbolize the unity of various ethnic races of the republican union founded as a result of the resistance. The red represents bravery, courage, and preservation. The blue canton means the nature of the sky, having deep meanings, the fresh and clear mind, and the light emitted in the night sky. The usage of stars is for the nature of the stars: never stopping, never cancelling the chosen path, always moving forward, being a guide for travellers, and existing since the beginning of the world, while the colour white represents purity, righteousness and steadiness.

The Socialist Period

 

The Socialtst Republic of the Union of Burma Flag (1974-2010)

The Second Flag adopted on 3 January 1974 upon the coming into force of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma has a similar background colours as the previous flag but with different charge in the canton. The colour representations are also different: white is for purity and virtue, red for bravery and decisiveness, blue for peacefulness and steadiness. It depicts 14 equal-sized white stars encircling a pinion  and ear of paddy in a blue canton against a red field. The paddy represents farmers while the pinion represents workers; the combination symbolizes the farmers and workers as the basic social classes for building the State. The 14 equal-sized white stars represent the equality and unity of the 14 members (7 states and 7 divisions) of the Union.

The Pyihtaungzu Hluttaw Period

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Flag (2010-Current)

The third flag was hoisted for the first time at 3:00 p.m. local time on 21 October 2010. The current flag is a horizontal tricolour flag of yellow, green, and red charged with a five-pointed white star in the centre of the field. The background is a yellow, green, and red tricolor, meant to honour the tricolours used during the independence struggle. The yellow represents unity, conformity, wisdom, happiness, and unity of all national races amicably. The green symbolises fertility, conformity, fairness, and being a peaceful, pleasant, and green nation. The red represents bravery and decisiveness. The white star stands for purity, honesty, fullness of compassion, and power.

Myanmar people are by nature friendly and polite, and are traditionally easygoing. The majority of the population are devout Buddhists, and there are pagodas and meditation centers all over the country. And others Christians, Islamic, Hindus, and others religions are freely devout as well.

While your host will be naturally polite and accommodating, you may have to go through a steep learning curve to understand the dos and don’ts of Myanmar’s social customs. Culture Smart! Myanmar provides vital insights into the inner life of the people, their history, traditions, attitudes, and work ethic, and gives practical advice on what to expect and how to behave in different circumstances. It offers you a starting point to discover for yourself the charms of this beautiful, resource-rich, and intriguing country.

KEY FACTS

OFFICIAL NAME The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Pyidaunzu Thanmada Myanmar Nainngandaw
GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic

 Upper house – House of Nationalities

Lower house – House of Representatives

PRESIDENT H.E U Myint Swe (Acting)
VICE PRESIDENT H.E Henry Van Thio
CAPITAL CITY Naypyidaw (Since 2005) Administrative
BUSINESS CENTER Yangon Largest city and former capital
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE Burmese Also official script
AREA 676,578 km(261,228 sq mi) 3.06% of water
POPULATION 56.2 million (2023) 76/km2 (196.8/sq mi) density
CLIMATE Tropical monsoon
ETHNIC MAKEUP Bamar 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Mon 2%, Others 10%
RELIGION Theravada Buddhism 87.9%, Christianity 6.2%, Islam 4.3%, Others 1.6%
CURRENCY

Kyat (K) (MMK)

(US $1.00 is roughly equivalent to 3,320 kyats)

Kyat denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 paper money
TIME ZONE GMT+6:30
DRIVING SIDE Right
CALLING CODE +95
CALENDAR Myanmar uses two calendars: Gregorian and Buddhist The lunar Buddhist calendar is 638 years behind Gregorian Calendar.

 ECONOMY

Market economy is nascent stage Business hours: 9:00-17:00, Monday to Friday ( half day for Saturday in some private office)
ADULT LITERACY 89.5%
ELECTRICITY 220 Volts, 50 Hz Range of plug types used. Adaptors needed for US appliances.
INTERNET TLD .mm
BAGAN DYNASTY 23 December 894 The first Kingdom was founded as a collision of Pyu city states (Hanlin, Beikthano, & Sriksetra which are UNESCO World Heritage)
TAUNGOO DYNASTY 16 October 1510
KONBAUNG DYNASTY 29 February 1752
ANNEXATION BY BRITISH 1 January 1886

 INDEPENDENCE

4 January 1948

In 1947 Bogyoke Aung San (Father of Aung San Suu Kyi) and 8 colleagues (the Nine Martyrs) were assassinated during the cabinet meeting for independence.

After the independence Myanmar become the Democratic country with President Sao Shwe Thike and Primier U Nu.

COUP D’ETAT 2 March 1962 The first military junta with General Nay Win.
RESTORATION OF PRESIDENCY 30 March 2010 President Thein Sein was become the first president after under 48 years of military rules.

GEOGRRAPHY

Myanmar is situated on the west of the Southeast Asian peninsula, bordering India on the northwest and China on the northeast. Bangladesh lies to the west and Thailand and Laos to the east. The country has a 1,770-mile coastline that faces west and borders the Bay of Bangal and the Andaman Sea.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Myanmar is roughly the size of the state of Texas, and larger than any European country, excluding Russia, with an area of 261,228 square miles (678,500 sq. km). It is also largest country in mainland Southeast Asia. The shape resembles that of kite, with a long tail drifting down the peninsula toward Malaysia.

Myanmar’s most prominent geographical feature is the 1,350 mile Irrawaddy River, flowing north to south. Other important rivers nourishing this rice-growing land are the Salween and the Chindwin. The rivers serve as Myanmar RTERIES, WHILE THE MOUNTAIN RANGES OF East Yoma, Bagao Yoma and West Yoma stand like sentries on guard duty. Myanmar’s highest peak, Hkakabo Razi in Kachin State, reaches 19,295 feet. Snow-capped mountain ranges mark Myanmar’s northernmost frontier with China.

The Shan plateau has its famous natural attraction, Inle Lake, situated 2,900 feet above the sea level. A freshwater lake, where the inhabitants lives in stilted homes surrounded by floating island, Inle Lake in nearly fourteen miles long and more than six miles across at its widest point. A unique feature of the lake is the way the people who live on its shores, the Inthas, use their legs to paddle their boats.

Climate

Myanmar stretches from the sparsely populated mountain north, where it border China, to the tropical south, and there are huge variations in climate. In the extreme north winters can be bitterly cold, but the inhabited parts of the country never experience extreme cold.

There are three seasons a year. Most of the country lies within the tropics and enjoys a hot season from March to mid-May, with temperatures reaching 35C. The rainy season begins from the third week of May, when monsoon rains envelop the country. The rains are heaviest during July and August, and taper off in October. The cool months are from November to February. While temperatures at this time dip below the freezing point in the north, For Yangon and other big cities in the central Myanmar it is pleasantly warm, around 68-77C.

loader-image
TODAY WEATHER FORECAST
Yangon (Rangoon)
7:52 am, 14/07/2024
temperature icon 26°C
broken clouds
Humidity Humidity: 94 %
Pressure Pressure: 1004 mb
Wind Wind: 2 mph
Wind Gust Wind Gust: 0 mph
Clouds Clouds: 75%
Visibility Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise Sunrise: 5:39 am
Sunset Sunset: 6:42 pm

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CN Chinese Yuan (offshore)7.29
MM Myanmar KyatK.2,203.34
RU Russian Ruble₽87.8
TH Thai Baht฿36.15
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Latest change: 14 Jul 2024 00:00 UTC
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