In 1998, Myanmar was an independent nation located in Southeast Asia with a population of around 45 million people. The economy was largely based on its agriculture and mining industry, with some manufacturing and other services also contributing significantly. The government was a military junta with strong emphasis on authoritarian rule and censorship. In terms of infrastructure, Myanmar had access to roads and airports as well as telecommunications networks. Health care was quite poor in most parts of the country due to its low standard of living. Education levels were quite low compared to other countries in the region due to significant lack of investments made into public education as well as private universities. Additionally, its unique culture and abundance of natural resources made it a hotspot for international tourism in the late 1990s. All in all, Myanmar’s potential for growth and development were limited due to its many challenges in 1998 thanks to its weak economic foundation and governmental instability. See dentistrymyth for Myanmar in the year of 2015.
Burma. According to Countryaah, the capital of Burma is Naypyidaw. Burma’s largest political party The National Democratic Alliance (National League for Democracy, NLD) was allowed by the military junta to hold congress with party leader Aung San Suu Kyi in May. It was the only conciliatory gesture on the part of the military junta in a year marked by fierce political confrontation. The tension increased significantly since the NLD put the ultimatum to the junta to convene the parliament elected in 1990 by 21 August, when the NLD won a grand victory but was deprived of the right to form a government. On three occasions in July and August, Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from visiting party friends abroad. Since the NLD on August 21 announced its intention to convene a “People’s Parliament” itself, the military junta seized hundreds of members of the party. A fierce campaign against Aung San Suu Kyi was staged in the state-controlled media and at mass meetings.
The military junta was pressured by an increasingly poor economy with increased budget deficits, 100 percent inflation and almost completely halted growth. Hard currency restrictions were introduced to prevent the currency reserve from being emptied. The regulations were criticized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which demanded that the value of the currency, Kyat, be written down to a realistic level. The World Bank stopped all lending to Burma since the junta was unable to pay off its debt of SEK 14 million. dollar.
For the first time in 25 years, a resolution was not passed in September at the UN General Assembly on Myanmar. The reason was that the EU made no one. This was remarkable since none of the points of previous years’ resolutions had yet been fulfilled. In October, the United States removed most of its sanctions against the country and gave it trade preferences. Since April, Myanmar has gradually introduced more restrictions on foreign observers’ access.
The situation of the Rohingya population in the Rakhine state was drastically worsened in the latter half of 2016. A border police station on the border with Malaysia was attacked in October and 9 policemen were killed. Reportedly by a Rohingya armed group. Security forces immediately embarked on a large-scale “cleansing operation” that isolated the area from the outside world and prevented journalists and human rights observers from entering. The security forces blamed indiscriminate killings, rapes, armed attacks on civilians and the burning of villages. 27,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh.
A total of 220,000 were internally displaced in the country by the end of 2016. The 120,000 in Rakhine and 100,000 in the northern part of the country.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does MMR stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Myanmar.
Area: 676,577 km2 (world ranking: 39)
Population density: 79 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 26)
Capital: Nay Pyi Taw
Official languages: Myanmar
Gross domestic product: 69.3 billion US $; Real growth: 6.4%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 1190 US$
Currency: 1 Kyat (K) = 100 Pyas
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Head of State: Win MyintMyint SweHenry Van Tio, Exterior: Aung San Suu Kyi
National Day: 4.1.
7 states, 7 regions, capital district
State and form of government
Constitution of 2008
Presidential republic with strong military influence
Parliament: People’s Chamber (Pyithu Hluttaw) with 440 members (330 elected, 110 members of the military); Chamber of Nationalities (Amyotha Hluttaw) with 224 members (168 elected, 56 members of the military); Election every 5 years
Election of the president by the electoral body every 5 years (one-time re-election)
Suffrage from 18 years.
Population: Myanmar, last census 2014: 51,486,253 residents.
1983: 69% Bamar, 8.5% Shan, 6.3 % Karen, 4.5% Rohingya, 2.4% Mon, 2.2% Chin, 1.4% Kachin, among others; 1-2% Chinese, 1% Indian
Cities (with population): (As of 2014) Yangon (Rangoon) 4,728,524 pop., Mandalay 1,225,546, Nay Pyi Taw 333,506, Taunggyi 264,804, Bago (Pegu) 254,424, Mawlamyine (Moulmein) 253,734
Religions: 88% Buddhists, 6% Christians, 4% Muslims, 1% appendix indig. Religions, 1% Hindus (as of 2014)
Languages: 70% Myanmar; Minority languages; English
Employees by economic sector: agriculture. 50%, industry 17%, business 33% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of the labor force)
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 5.1%
Foreign trade: Import: 19.3 billion US$ (2017); Export: US $ 13.9 billion (2017)
Tropical monsoon climate. Summer rainy season (SW monsoon) from May to October. The western outskirts, located in the windward direction, receive precipitation of up to 5000 mm, in the central highlands only 600 mm. Summer temperatures up to 40ºC. Winter dry season with cooler temperatures from January to March. In the extreme north over 1000 m occasional frost.
Myanmar’s contemporary history
Myanmar’s contemporary history dates back to 1988, when the Democratic Movement demonstrations led General Ne Win, who had ruled the country dictatorship for nearly 30 years, to resign as party leader of the Burma’s Socialist Program Party and de facto head of state. The military government that Ne Win had been a part of was reorganized and a junta called the State Council for the Restoration of Law and Order (SLORC) took charge.
In 1989, the country, formerly called Burma, changed its name to Myanmar. The regime, which carried out a strong military armament, was accused of violating human rights and Myanmar was isolated internationally. The 1990 election was won by the opposition party NLD (National League for Democracy) led by Aung San Suu Kyi, but she was refused to take power and placed in house arrest for extended periods until she was released on November 13, 2010. In the same year, the first elections of 20 years held. From 2011, reforms have led the country in a more democratic direction.
Since 2012, religious violence, particularly targeting the Muslim part of the population, has threatened the stability of the country and Myanmar has seen a boom of Buddhist ultranationalism. Particularly serious has been the sectarian violence in Rakhine province, where there have been several clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine population and the Muslim Rohingya population.