Myanmar from space.
Today, bloggers are asked to blog about Myanmar/Burma to support the Saffron revolution. I’ve already posted a few articles this morning before realizing the date. Anyways, most of the posts on this blog today will be about Myanmar.
Myanmar or Burma?
Read further for details!
The name “Myanmar” is derived from the local short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw. In Burmese, the name Myanma (or Mranma Prañ) has been used since the 13th century. Its etymology remains unclear.
In 1989, the military junta officially changed the English version of the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar, along with changes to the English versions of many place names in the country, such as its former capital city from Rangoon to Yangon. This decision has, however, not received legislative approval in Burma. The official name of the country in the Burmese language, Myanma, was never changed. Within the Burmese language, Myanma is the written, literary name of the country, while Bama or Bamar (from which “Burma” derives) is the oral, colloquial name. In spoken Burmese, the distinction is less clear than the English transliteration suggests.
The renaming proved to be politically controversial. Burmese opposition groups continue to use the name “Burma,” since they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government nor its authority to rename the country. Some western governments, namely those of the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, continue to use “Burma,” while the European Union uses “Burma/Myanmar” as an alternative. The United Nations uses “Myanmar.”
Use of “Burma” and its adjective, “Burmese,” remains common in the United States and Britain. Some news organisations, such as the BBC and The Financial Times, still use these forms. MSNBC, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and others use “Myanmar” as the country name and “Burmese” as the adjective. The Newshour with Jim Lehrer is not entirely consistent: Lehrer used to call the country Myanmar but now uses the phrase Myanmar—also referred to as Burma. Reporter Ray Suares, who has been reporting on recent events in Burma, now calls it Burma. The expert guests use various terms, but most use Burma.
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