Southeast Asia: Burma

About Burma

Despite multiparty elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party winning a decisive victory, the military junta ruling the country refused to hand over power. Key opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG San Suu Kyi, under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, was again placed under house detention in September 2000; her supporters are routinely harassed or jailed.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Rangoon (regime refers to the
Population: 41,994,678
Percent below poverty: 23% (1997 est.)
Language: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Date of independence: 4 January 1948 (from UK)
Form of government: military regime
Title of Leader: Prime Minister and Chairman of the
Natural Resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
Environmental Issues: deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease
Agricultural Products: paddy rice, corn, oilseed, sugarcane, pulses; hardwood
Imports: machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, food products
Exports: apparel 36%, foodstuffs 22%, wood products 21%, precious stones 5% (1999)
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Singapore 28%, Thailand 12%, China 10%, Japan 10%, South Korea 9% (1999 est.)
EXPORTS: India 13%, Singapore 11%, China 11%, US 8% (1999 est.)


Burma Headlines


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