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Burma Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Union of Burma
    conventional short form: Burma
    local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar)
    local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw
    former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma

    Data code: BM

    Government type: military regime

    Capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)

    Administrative divisions: 7 divisions* (yin-mya, singular—yin) and 7 states (pyine-mya, singular—pyine); Chin State, Ayeyarwady*, Bago*, Kachin State, Kayin State, Kayah State, Magway*, Mandalay*, Mon State, Rakhine State, Sagaing*, Shan State, Tanintharyi*, Yangon*

    Independence: 4 January 1948 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 4 January (1948)

    Constitution: 3 January 1974 (suspended since 18 September 1988); national convention started on 9 January 1993 to draft a new constitution; chapter headings and three of 15 sections have been approved

    Legal system: does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note—the prime minister is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note—the prime minister is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); military junta, so named 15 November 1997, which initially assumed power 18 September 1988 under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council; the SPDC oversees the cabinet
    elections: none; the prime minister assumed power upon resignation of the former prime minister

    Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never convened
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA%; seats by party—NLD 396, NUP 10, other 79

    Judicial branch: limited; remnants of the British-era legal system in place, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent of the executive

    Political parties and leaders: National Unity Party or NUP (proregime) [THA KYAW]; National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary]; Union Solidarity and Development Association or USDA (proregime, a social and political organization) [THAN AUNG, general secretary]; and eight minor legal parties

    Political pressure groups and leaders: National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB [Dr. SEIN WIN] consists of individuals legitimately elected to the People's Assembly but not recognized by the military regime; the group fled to a border area and joined with insurgents in December 1990 to form a parallel government; Kachin Independence Army or KIA; United Wa State Army or UWSA; Karen National Union or KNU; several Shan factions; All Burma Student Democratic Front or ABSDF

    International organization participation: AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador TIN WINN
    chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-9044
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-9046
    consulate(s) general: New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent M. WIEDEMANN
    embassy: 581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521)
    mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546
    telephone: [95] (1) 282055, 282182 (operator assistance required)
    FAX: [95] (1) 280409

    Flag description: red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing, all in white, 14 five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk of rice; the 14 stars represent the 14 administrative divisions

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)