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Burma: Government

Government Burma
Country name:
conventional long form: Union of Burma
conventional short form: Burma
local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw
local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar)
former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma
note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; this decision was not approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and the US Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw
Government type:
military regime
Capital:
Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)
Administrative divisions:
7 divisions* (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne); 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; progress has since been stalled
Legal system:
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992)
head of government: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note - the appointed Prime Minister, Gen. KNIN NYUNT (since 25 August 2003), is not the 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
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 392, SNLD 23, NUP 10, other 60
Judicial branch:
remnants of the British-era legal system are 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 League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary]; National Unity Party or NUP (proregime) [THA KYAW]; Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [KHUN TUN OO]; Union Solidarity and Development Association or USDA (proregime, a social and political organization) [THAN AUNG, general secretary]; and other smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
All Burma Student Democratic Front or ABSDF; Kachin Independence Army or KIA; Karen National Union or KNU; 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); several Shan factions; United Wa State Army or UWSA
International organization participation:
ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador LINN MYAING
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9046
telephone: [1] (202) 332-9044
chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Permanent Charge d'Affaires Carmen M. MARTINEZ
embassy: 581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521)
mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546
telephone: [95] (1) 379 880, 379 881
FAX: [95] (1) 256 018
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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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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