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Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest, where she remains virtually incommunicado. In February 2006, the junta extended her detention for another year. Her supporters, as well as all those who promote democracy and improved human rights, are routinely harassed or jailed.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 47373958

Nationality (Noun): Burmese

Nationality (Adjective): Burmese

Official Language(s): Burmese

Major Languages Spoken: Burmese, Karen

Map of Burma

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Union of Burma

Country Name (short form): Burma

Country Name (local long form): Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw

Country Name (local short form): Myanma Naingngandaw

Name of Capital: Rangoon (Yangon)

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Burma: Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China, India

Land Area: 657740 sq km

Water Area: 20760 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Texas

Total Land Boundry: 5,876 km

Coastline: 1,930 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)

International Phone Code: -95

Currency Code: kyat (MMK)

Internet Country Code: .mm

US Embassy Location: 581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521)

US Embassy Mailing Address: Box B, APO AP 96546


Burma flag

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