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Burma. Center for the Stud Rutgers University. Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights Rutgers University. Geography. Introduction. Capital: Nay Pyi Taw Population: approximately 50 million (UN, 2009) Currency: Kyat

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Burma l.jpg

Burma

Center for the Stud Rutgers University

Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights

Rutgers University



Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • Capital: Nay Pyi Taw

  • Population: approximately 50 million (UN, 2009)

  • Currency: Kyat

  • Major Languages: Burmese, indigenous ethnic languages

  • Major Religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam

  • Life expectancy: 59 years (men), 63 years (women) (UN)


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Highlights of Burma’s History

  • 1948 - The end of Japanese occupation, Burma becomes independent from Great Britain. U Nu becomes Prime Minister.

  • 1962 - U Nu's faction ousted in military coup led by Gen Ne Win, who abolishes the federal system and inaugurates "the Burmese Way to Socialism" - nationalizing the economy, forming a single-party state with the Socialist Program Party as the sole political party, and banning independent newspapers

  • 1974 - New constitution comes into effect, transferring power from the armed forces to a People's Assembly headed by Ne Win and other former military leaders; body of former United Nations secretary-general U Thant returned to Burma for burial.


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Highlights of Burma’s History (contd)

  • 1975 - Opposition National Democratic Front formed by regionally-based minority groups, who mounted guerrilla insurgencies.

  • 1987 - Currency devaluation wipes out many people's savings and triggers anti-government riots.

  • 1988 - Thousands of people are killed in anti-government riots. The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) is formed.

  • 1989 - Slorc declares martial law, arrests thousands of people, including advocates of democracy and human rights, renames Burma Myanmar, with the capital, Rangoon, becoming Yangon. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Aung San, is put under house arrest.


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Highlights of Burma’s History (contd)

  • 1990 - Opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) wins landslide victory in general election, but the result is ignored by the military.

  • 1998 - 300 NLD members released from prison; ruling council refuses to comply with NLD deadline for convening of parliament; student demonstrations broken up.

  • 2001-Ruling council releases some 200 pro-democracy activists. Government says releases reflect progress in talks with opposition NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest.

  • 2001- Burmese army, Shan rebels clash on Thai border.

  • 2002- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi released after nearly 20 months of house arrest.


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Highlights of Burma’s History (contd)

  • 2004- Constitutional convention begins, despite boycott by National League for Democracy (NLD) whose leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest.

  • 2007- Military government declares 14 years of constitutional talks complete and closes the National Convention.

  • 2007- Buddhist monks hold a series of anti-government protests. Authorities begin to crack down on protests, but demonstrations continue.

  • 2007 - Normality returns to Rangoon amid heavy military presence. Monks are absent, after thousands are reportedly rounded up.

  • 2009 October - Aung San Suu Kyi begins talks with Burma's military leaders and is allowed to meet Western diplomats.

  • 2010 March - Government announces that long-awaited election laws have been passed, with provisions for an electoral commission hand-picked by the junta.


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The Saffron Revolution

  • “Saffron Revolution” refers to the monk led anti-government protests in 2007.

  • The military launched a crackdown, beating and opening fire on the protesters.

  • At least 30 were killed, thousands imprisoned, while others fled the country.


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Contemporary Politics

  • Burma is still under military junta rule that actively suppresses dissent.

  • The generals and the army stand accused of gross human rights abuses, including the forcible relocation of civilians and the widespread use of forced labor, which includes children.

  • Burma is also known as Myanmar, a name that is controversial as it recognizes the junta’s legitimacy and authority to change the country’s name.

    • The United Nations, Japan, and France recognize the name.

    • The United States and United Kingdom do not.


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Bibliography

  • BBC Country Profile- Burma

    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1300003.stm

  • CIA World Factbook- Burma

    • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html


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