Where is Myanmar and what do know about it?

Updated: May 2, 2021

Myanmar (also known as Burma) is a country in southeast Asia, that shares a border with Thailand, China, India, Laos and Bangladesh. It has a population of 54 million people with 135 distinct ethnic groups grouped into 8 major ethnic races and is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world.

Myanmar was ruled by military dictatorship from 1962 to 2011, when a new government began the transition to democracy. However, the military has continued to have dominant influence. On Feb. 1st, the military staged a political coup, exerting control after losing the majority in last November’s election. Most democratically elected leaders have been locked up or disappeared.

Additional history of Myanmar:

  • Myanmar (Burma) became independent from Britain in 1948 but struggled to realize a free democracy as various ethnic group leaders wrestled for power.

  • Myanmar was under military rule from 1962 – 2010 and has become one of the least developed countries in the world.

  • Restrictions began loosening in 2010, after the world witnessed peaceful protests turn violent.

  • This led to the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011, with free elections to follow in 2015.

  • In 2017, the Rohingya ethnic group came under deadly military assault, which the UN referred to as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.