• population of over 60 million makes it
the world's 24th most populous
• and, at 676,578 square kilometres
(261,227 sq mi),
• it is the world's 40th largest country
and the second largest in Southeast
Official Language & other
• Burmese Language as its Official Language
• other major languages spoken include Shan,
Karen, Kachin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine.
• 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
• The country's official full name is the "Republic of
the Union of Myanmar" .
• The design of the flag has three horizontal stripes
of yellow, green and red with a five-pointed white
star in the middle. The three colours of the stripes
are meant to symbolize solidarity, peace and
tranquility, and courage and decisiveness.
• Officials were told to lower the old flag in favour
of the new one only shortly before 3:00 p.m. local
time on 21 October 2010
Official State Seal
• The coat of arms has
lions) facing opposite
one another, and at its
center is a map
of Burma. The coat of
arms is surrounded by
flower designs and a
star at its top. The
new State Seal was
stipulated by Chapter
XIII of the 2008
Kaba Ma Kyei
(Till the end of the world, Burma)
• Absorbed by Pagan Empire on the 10th century.
• In the 12th and 13th centuries Burmese
language and culture gradually became
dominant in the upper Irrawaddy valley.
• Pagan's rulers and wealthy built over 10,000
Buddhist temples in the Pagan capital zone
• 15th century - considered as the Golden Age for
Burmese Culture. Burmese literature "grew
more confident, popular, and stylistically
• In the beginning of 18th century when British
Empire started to enforce its power in Lower
• 1824 - Britain officially colonized Burma, that led
to social, economic, cultural, and administrative
• 1937 - Burma became a separately administered
colony of Great Britain and Ba Maw the first
Prime Minister and Premier of Burma.
• 1940 - Aung San formed the Burma
Independence Army in Japan.
• 1942 - Burma occupied by the Empire of Japan.
• 1 August 1943 – Burma declared independent as
State of Burma.
• July 1945 – end of Japanese occupation.
• 4 January 1948 – Declaration of Independence,
and named Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe
Thaik as its first President
• 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.
(Burmese way to socialism.
Soviet-style nationalization and central planning.
• Student protests in 1975, 1976 and 1977 were
quickly suppressed by overwhelming force.
• 1988 – 8888 Uprising and Saw Muang formed the
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
• 1989 – SLORC declared Martial Law, and changed
the country's official English name from the
"Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma" to the
"Union of Myanmar
• 1990 – the government held free election for the
• 23 June 1997- Burma was admitted into
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
• 10 May 2008 - Burmese constitutional
referendum of 2008
• November 2011- United States relaxed curbs on
foreign aid to Burma.
• August 2012 - Restrictions on media censorship
were significantly eased.
• 2007 - an increase in the price
of diesel and petrol led to a series of antigovernment protests.
• May 2008 – Cyclone Nargis
Types of government
• presidential republic with a bicameral
• The President is the
head of state and
head of government.
• The current head of
as President on 30
March 2011, is Thein
• the legislature, called the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, is
bicameral and made up of two houses: The 224seat 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 highest court in the land is the Supreme
Court, consisting of two (2) Chief Justices.
• Burma's judicial system is limited. British-era
laws and legal systems remain much intact, but
there is no guarantee of a fair public trial.
• The judiciary is independent of the executive
• Burma does not accept
compulsory International Court of
• The country is one of
the poorest nations in
suffering from decades
• The lack of an educated
workforce skilled in
contributes to the
growing problems of
• The country lacks
• Railways are old and
rudimentary, with few
repairs since their
construction in the late
• 25% of the country's
• 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 labor
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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
• to this day Myanmar remains one of the most
mysterious and undiscovered destinations in the
• 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
• 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).
• 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
• Typical jungle animals, particularly tigers, occur
sparsely in Burma. In upper Burma, there are],
wild buffalo, wild boars, deer, antelope,
andelephants, which are also tamed or bred in
captivity for use as work animals.
• The abundance of birds is notable with over 800