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History & Politics of Myanmar
Myanmar, officially the Union of Myanmar is the largest country in geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia. Also known as Burma or the Union of Burma by bodies and states which do not recognize the ruling military junta, it is bordered by the People's Republic of China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, and India on the northwest, with the Andaman Sea to the south, and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest. One-third of Myanmar's total perimeter, 1,930 km (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.
Myanmar's diverse population has played a major role in defining its politics, its history, and its demographics in modern times. Its political system remains under the tight control of the State Peace and Development Council, the military government led by Senior General Than Shwe since 1992. Colonised as part of the British Empire until 1948, Myanmar continues to struggle to mend its ethnic tensions, and overcome coups d'état. The country's culture, heavily influenced by neighbours, is based on a unique form of Buddhism intertwined with local elements.
Historical & Tourist Attractions in Myanmar
The Naga-Yone enclosure near Myinkaba, with a Buddha figure entwined and protected by a huge cobra – a combination of Buddhism and Brahman astrology; Kyaik Tyo and its ‘Golden Rock Pagoda’, a 5.5m (18ft) shrine built on a gold-plated boulder atop a cliff; and Pegu, founded in 1573, with its golden Shwemawdaw Pagoda and market. Just northeast of Pegu is the Shwethalyaung Buddha, revered as one of the most beautiful and lifelike of reclining Buddhas, which was lost and totally overgrown by jungle after the destruction of Pegu in 1757.
Pagan is one of the greatest historical areas in the country. It is best seen at sunrise or sunset. This old royal city is rich in palaces, stupas, temples and pagodas (although the city has suffered several bad fires which have destroyed some buildings), and is the main center of Buddhism and Burmese arts. There are some excellent craft markets and there are thriving stone-carving workshops and gold-leaf industries.