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According to the statistical estimate of the census of 2007, Myanmar holds a population of 47,373,958. The multi-ethnic population of Myanmar comprises racial groups of Chinese, Burman, Karen, Indian, Shan, Rakhine and other minorities.
Buddhist, Islam, Christian and Animist are the main religious groups of Myanmar.
Myanmar or the Union of Myanmar is the largest country in the Indochinese region of South East Asia.
China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India are its neighboring countries. The Bay of Bengal is located to its southwest side. The country is abound with dense forests and wild animals. Rice is the main agricultural and commercial product of Myanmar. Myanmar is infamous for its opium harvest. It also depends on precious gems like ruby. Since, the 1960s its military rule has earned many countries' ire. Aung San Suu Kyi bagged Nobel Peace Prize for her effort to better the life of this unstable country.
Indo-Aryan tribes were the ancient settlers of Myanmar. Later Kublai Khan established his dominance here. During the 19th century, Britain annexed it and made it a part of India. In 1937, it became a separate British colony. It gained independence on January 4, 1948.
Through a coup in 1962, military governance was established in the country. Military government (Tatmadaw) rules Myanmar in the form of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Various western countries have imposed sanctions on this country. Most of the cabinet posts of the government of Myanmar are occupied by military personnel. The President is the state head of Myanmar. The Prime Minister leads the government of Myanmar. People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw is the legislative bench of Myanmar. Its members are elected via general suffrage, but military junta has not allowed it to convene since the last election in 1990. A current constitution has been adopted in 2008. Next multi-party elected is scheduled to be held in 2010, though the constitution has blocked Aung San Suu Kyi for representing any public office. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial bench of the Union of Myanmar. The current President is Senior General Than Shwe and the head of the government of Myanmar is Thein Sein.
Top Cities of MyanmarIt has few major cities. Some of the top cities of Myanmar include:
Yangon: Yangon is the premier city and former capital of Myanmar. It houses Thilawa Port, the main port of Myanmar. Shwe Dagon Pagoda; a golden Buddhist monument is the most famous landmark of this city. This city has around 20 colleges and universities. It has major rice mills and sawmills. Banking and production of garments, soap, rubber, aluminum, and iron and steel products are major commercial and industrial sectors of Yangon.
Naypyidaw: Naypyidaw is the new administrative capital of the Union of Myanmar. It is a hub for wealthy people and military personnel. It has an airport and several luxurious hotels and restaurants.
Mandalay: Mandalay is Buddhist cultural center of Myanmar. It houses famous Buddhist monument the Mahamuni, or Arakan Pagoda. Silk, tapestry, handicrafts, matches and wine are its major industrial goods.
Some other top cities of Myanmar include: Mawlamyaing, Bago, Pathein etc.
Culture and HeritageBuddhism has richly contribute to the culture of Myanmar. Several pagodas and monasteries are major landmarks of this country. Several Buddhist festivals have painted the cultural life of Myanmar. Among them Thingyan is the most famous. Sculpturing, bronze crafts, stone items, painting, pottery and tapestry are some popular handicrafts of the culture and heritage of Myanmar.
TourismTourism of Myanmar has failed to utilize its full potentiality. It is still a mysterious country for the western travelers. Myanmar basks in ethnic heritage of Asia. Mandalay and Yangon are the most visited places of Myanmar. Dense forests, wild animals and rich Buddhist traditions have contributed to its tourism sector.
Last Updated On : April 10, 2013
Largest CityYangon (Rangoon)
Area261,227 sq mi