Myanmar, usually known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian nation. Its official name is the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It is the biggest nation in Mainland Southeast Asia, with a population of over 54 million people in 2017. Myanmar is bounded to the northwest by Bangladesh and India, to the northeast by China, to the east and southeast by Laos and Thailand, and to the south and southwest by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Naypyidaw is the country's capital, while Yangon is its major city (Rangoon).
The Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Myanmar and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Myanmar were among the first civilizations in the region. The Bamar people arrived in the upper Irrawaddy valley in the ninth century, and with the founding of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture, and Theravada Buddhism gradually became prevalent in the nation. The Pagan Kingdom was defeated by Mongol invasions, and various fighting nations arose. When the Taungoo dynasty reunified the kingdom in the 16th century, it briefly became Southeast Asia's biggest empire.
The Konbaung dynasty reigned over contemporary Myanmar and briefly conquered Manipur and Assam in the early nineteenth century. After three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the nineteenth century, the British East India Company acquired control of Myanmar's governance, and the nation became a British colony. Myanmar was recaptured by the Allies after a short Japanese occupation and won independence in 1948. Following a coup in 1962, it was turned into a military dictatorship led by the Burma Socialist Programme Party.
For the majority of its independent years, the nation has been engulfed in severe ethnic violence, with its many ethnic groups embroiled in one of the world's longest-running civil wars. The United Nations and various other organizations have cited frequent and systematic human rights breaches in the nation throughout this period. Following a general election in 2010, the military junta was formally dissolved in 2011, and a nominally civilian administration was created. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, as well as successful elections in 2015, improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, leading to the relaxation of trade and other economic sanctions, despite the fact that the country's treatment of its ethnic minorities, particularly in relation to the Rohingya conflict, was condemned by international organizations and many nations.
The Burmese military (Tatmadaw) took control in a coup d'état after the 2020 Myanmar general election, in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party gained a commanding majority in both chambers. The globally denounced coup has resulted in continued large demonstrations in Myanmar, as well as severe political repression by the military. In order to remove Aung San Suu Kyi from public life, the military imprisoned her and accused her with offenses ranging from corruption to breach of Covid guidelines, all of which have been branded as "politically motivated" by impartial observers.
Myanmar is a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN, and BIMSTEC, but not the Commonwealth of Nations, despite formerly being a part of the British Empire. It is a nation rich in jade and gemstones, as well as oil, natural gas, teak, and other mineral resources. Myanmar is well endowed with renewable energy; it has the greatest solar power potential among the Great Mekong Subregion nations. In 2013, its nominal GDP was $56.7 billion, while its PPP GDP was $221.5 billion. Myanmar has one of the world's greatest economic disparities, owing to the military junta's control over a substantial section of the economy. According to the Human Development Index, Myanmar ranks 147th out of 189 nations in terms of human development as of 2020.