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Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country by geographical area in
mainland Southeast Asia.
Burma achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 4 January 1948, as the Union of Burma.
It became the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma on 4 January 1974, before reverting to the
Union of Burma on 23 September 1988. On 18 June 1989, the State Law and Order Restoration Council
adopted the name Union of Myanmar. This was recognised by the United Nations,
but not by the US or UK Governments.
Burma is bordered by China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast,
Bangladesh on the west, and India on the northwest, with the Bay of Bengal to the southwest.
One-third of Burma's total perimeter, 1,930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.
Burma's diverse population has played a major role in defining its politics, history and demographics
in modern times. Its political system remains under the tight control of the State Peace and Development Council,
the military government led, since 1992, by Senior General Than Shwe.
The Burmese military has dominated government since General Ne Win led a coup in 1962 that toppled
the civilian government of U Nu. Part of the British Empire until 1948, Burma continues to
struggle to mend its ethnic tensions. The countrys culture, heavily influenced by neighbours,
is based on Theravada Buddhism intertwined with local elements.
read full wikipedia reference about Myanmar
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