The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar), with its capital in Naypyidaw, is bordered by the ASEAN countries of Thailand and Laos in the east, and Bangladesh, India and China to the west and north/north-east. The total area of Myanmar is 677,000 square km with population estimated at 52.4 million (2003 official est.). Myanmar has 135 “national races”, including Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Burmese or “Myanmar language” is the official language under the 2008 Constitution and is spoken by roughly 60% of Myanmar’s population. However, there are some 100 languages spoken in Myanmar that correspond to the “national races” or ethnic groups mentioned above. The main religion practiced in Myanmar is Buddhism (89.2%), followed by Christianity (5.0%), Islam (3.8%) and Hinduism (0.5%).
Myanmar became an independent state in 1948. From 1962 until 2010, Myanmar was ruled by a military junta. In 1990, when opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won a majority in the general elections, the result was ignored by the military and elections suspended. In 2010, the military-backed party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), won the first election for 20 years, amid claims of election fraud. The NLD did not participate in these elections. A civilian government with military representation was formed in 2011. In 2012, by elections were held
Power in the Myanmar political system, is centralized in the President who is both the head of state and head of government. The President is appointed by the legislature and has the power to appoint and dismiss government ministers, the attorney general and chief justice at will.
The national parliament, the “Pyidaungsu Hluttaw”, consists of the People's Assembly (Pyithu Hluttaw) and the House of Nationalities (Amyotha Hluttaw). The People’s Assembly includes 330 elected representatives and 110 military appointees, while the House of Nationalities includes 56 appointed military representatives and 168 elected representatives with equal representation of regions and states, comprising 12 per Region or State, and one per Self-Administered Area. Legislation can originate from either house and will become law upon the
Union is delineated and constituted by seven Regions, seven States and the Union territories as follows:
(a) Kachin State;
(b) Kayah State;
(c) Kayin State;
(d) Chin State;
(e) Sagaing Region;
(f) Taninthayi Region;
(g) Bago Region;
(h) Magway Region;
(i) Mandalay Region;
(j) Mon State;
(k) Rakhine State;
(l) Yangon Region;
(m) Shan State;
(n) Ayeyawady Region; and
(o) Union territories. (union territories are under the president)
Myanmar joined the United Nations (UN) on 19 April 1948. Mynmar is also a member of the following inter-governmental organizations: the World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank Group and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Malaysia is not a member of the International Organization for Migration.
Malaysia is a member of various regional organizations, among others, the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Forum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), and other international groupings such as the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).