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General Info
Geography l History l Economy

Myanmar's history begins with the migration of three different groups into the country. The Mons (current Combodia), the Mongol Burmans from eastern Himalayas and later, the Thai tribes from northern Thailand. The ruler of present-day Myanmar was the Burman Kingdom of Bagan in the 11th century. However, it fails to unify the groups and therefore, collapse into the hands of a Tartar invasion in 1287. Burma was continuously in deep chaos for another 250 years and the territory remained separated until mid 16-th century. A series of Taungoo kings spread their domain and defeated the Siamese.

In the 18th century, the country again split up when the Mons and hill tribes established their own kingdoms. The Burmans then invaded Siam and sacked Ayuthaya, forcing them to move their capital to Bangkok. That happened in the year 1767.

With all the border clashes, British began to take an interest and they invaded the place in 1824, 1852 and again in 1883. Burma ended up as part of British India. The British built the colonial infrastructure and turned Burma into a major rice exporter. To further complicate racial matters, we see the arrival of Indians and Chinese to the land. In 1937, Burma was separated from British India with plans for self-ruling. However, in World War II, the Japanese came and drove the British away. They also attempted to enlist Burma for political support. This temptation was shoved aside as resistance movement sprang up. Burma became independent in the year 1948 but fell apart almost immediately when racial matters came to head.

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In 1962, a left-wing army revolt led by General Ne Win got rid of the troubled democratic government and led the country to socialism. However, things got worst and the Burman economy fell and fell for over 25 years until one day, the Burman people decided to take matters into their own hands and Ne Win was made to resign. In his place was General Saw Maung who promised a new leash of life for the Burman people. However, when the day came for polling, the National League Democracy achieved a landslide victory. Unfortunately, the junta prevented the elected officials from taking their rightful seats and instead, got them arrested instead. This includes Aung San Suu Kyi, who remained in prison until mid 1995. Despite other failures, yet Myanmar was welcomed into ASEAN in July 1997.



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