Burma History  

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BURMA

Once known as Burma, Myanmar was an independent Buddhist kingdom from the 11th to the 13th centuries, when the country fell to Mongol invaders. One hundred years later, it was a satellite of China. Britain and France vied for Burma, and in the early 1800s, France was in the ascendancy. Britain, however, eventually triumphed and Burma came under the control of the British raj of India. In 1937, Burma became a self-governing protectorate. Burma was the site of heavy fighting between Japanese and Allied forces during World War II. In 1948, the Union of Burma was born. Fourteen years later, a military coup under General Ne Win overthrew the government to establish a repressive, one-party state. The result: the so-called "Burmese path to socialism" which caused economic stagnation and isolation from the international community. Public discontent caused the resignation of Ne Win but it remained difficult to reinstate public order. That September, military rule was restored. In 1991, international attention was focused on Burma as the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyl; she was released from house arrest in 1995.

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