Burma, since 1989 renamed by the junta to "Myanmar", is situated in Southeast Asia between India, China and Thailand. Since the coup in 1962 a military regime is ruling in Burma under different names and state models. In 1988, thousands of Burmese had to pay with their lives for demanding democracy and economic reforms. In 2007, monks and their supporters were shot and bludgeoned off the streets. Again the year 2008 brought Burma into the headlines when Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta and took the lives of many tens of thousands. The world was shocked to see that the regime long time refused to let foreign aid into the country.
In the recent years the government went through political changes, based on a constitution from 2008 that entrenches the army's rule. While certain freedoms seem to be available in a number of fields, such as political engagement, media or foreign investments, the majority of Burma's people, especially among the ethnic groups, does not yet perceive a change.
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last update of information in 10/2012