Burma, alternatively known as Myanmar, has long been considered a pariah state across the globe. The nation has a catalogue of human rights issues. Burma fell under the rule of a military junta between 1962 and 2011. The junta was harsh in its treatment of the Burmese people and indignant in the face of international criticism of their action. During 2008, Cyclone Nagris struck the country. This led to the deaths of over 138,000 people with thousands more injured or made homeless.
The first general election in twenty years was held in 2010. However, a new constitution has allowed the military to maintain a strong influence on how the country is run. The new government has carried out several reforms. This has led to debate over whether decades of isolation could be coming to an end.
Tell me something about Burma…
- The country has a population of 54 million
- Despite a new constitution, the military maintain much control
- Supporters of the National League for Democracy have long faced issues. The leader of the group Aung San Suu Kyi spent almost twenty years in some form of detention between 1989 and 2010. The release of Aung San Suu Kyi has allowed some progress to be made
- Many ethnic groups live in the poorest communities in isolated rural areas
- The progress being made in recent years has led many to suggest that imposed trade sanctions could be lifted in the future