Why is Myanmar Also Called Burma?

The word “Burma” is a British rendition of the word “Bamar,” which is the ethnic group that makes up the majority of Myanmar’s population. The military changed the country’s name to Myanmar in 1989 after a period of violent protests and civil unrest. Many Burmese prefer “Myanmar” since British colonizers chose the name Burma.

Many governments still choose to refer to Myanmar as Burma. Notably, President Obama chose to refer to the country as Myanmar, but as a general rule the U.S. State Department still uses Burma.

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