Burma is located in South East Asia, west of Thailand, and borders Thailand, China, India, Laos and the Indian Ocean. It's total land area is about the size of Texas.
During much of the 19th Century and early 20th century, it was administered as a province of India by the British. In 1948 it attained independence and is now ruled by a military junta who have refused to give up control despite a landslide win for the National League for Democracy in 1990 (since which time the party's leader has been under almost constant arrest). In 1989 the junta announced that the country's name had been changed to Myanmar, but this not approved by any legislative body (because there isn't one!)
Burma has a wealth of natural resources, including oil, minerals and metals but extremely strict government controls lead to inefficient economic policies, and abject rural poverty for its 45 million citizens.
Interesting Fact: According to many sources, including the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the USA and Burma do have one thing in common - along with Liberia, they are the only three countries in the world who not to have adopted the metric system as their standard form of measurement!
The pros and cons of traveling to Burma
The Myanmar official website (only of interest if you like looking at pictures of generals!)
This article is from the July 20, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.
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