History & Politics

Early history of Myanmar began with the founding of the first capital of Myanmar Kings at Tagaung. There were three golden periods in Myanmar history: First Myanmar Empire in Bagan(1044 AD-1077 AD) by King Anawyahta, the Second Myanmar Empire of the Taungoo Period (1551 AD-1581 AD) by King Bayin Naung and the Third Myanmar Empire in 1752 AD King Alaung Phaya founded. It was during the zenith of the Konbaung Dynasty that the British moved into Myanmar.

It became British colony after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in 1825, 1852, 1885 AD. The British colonized Myanmar from 1885 to 1948. On 4 January 1948, the nation became an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and U Nu as its first Prime Minister. Unlike most other former British colonies and overseas territories, it did not become a member of the Commonwealth. Since independence in 1948, the country has been in one of the longest running civil wars among the country's myriad ethnic groups that remains unresolved and was being controlled under military rule. On 23 June 1997, Myanmar was admitted into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On 27 March 2006, the military junta, which had moved the national capital from Yangon to a site near Pyinmana in November 2005, officially named the new capital Naypyidaw, meaning "city of the kings".

The country is now governed as a presidential republic and general elections were held under the new constitution in 2010. The elections resulted in a victory for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. U Thein Sein, current head of state of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is being inaugurated as the president on 30 March 2011. President Thein Sein has conducted the present country's political situation in a very successful manner and now many foreign countries have indicated willingness to lift or loosen sanctions on Burma and its military leaders. Immediately following the elections, the government has embarked on a series of reforms towards liberal democracy, mixed economy and reconciliation, including the release of the house arrest of the democracy advocate and leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Su Kyi and her ability to move freely around the country is considered an important test of the military's movement toward more openness.

Obama’s Historic Visit

President Obama visited Myanmar in mid -November "to extend the hand of friendship" as the country starts to remove military rule and emerge from decades of isolation. He is the first American president to visit Myanmar, with the hope of solidifying the stunning changes that have transformed this country and encouraging additional progress towards a more democratic system. Promise of more financial assistance being made and sending the first American ambassador in 22 years to ease sanctions was a dramatic change that has brought the country.