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What is a name? Myanmar' or'Burma' debates
More than a quarter hundred years later, the British paper Guardian on Monday proclaimed that it will no longer be referring to the south-east Asiatic country "Burma", but to its legal name "Myanmar". This change once again poses a problem that the press has been following since the Myanmar bombing by the Myanmar army in 1989.
It has always been a tough choice: are you sticking to the UK collective name Burma, or taking on the new name of a dictatorial violence? A further important announcement in the Myanmar family, a growing tendency since the so-called democratization of the country in recent years. In 2013, the BBC moved to Myanmar, while large information companies such as AP, AFP and Reuters have been using it for years.
However, Myanmar's global adoptions are far from over. Burma has been the focus of many UK and US papers, such as The Independent, The Washington Post and the Atlantic. Even English-language businesses with a pronounced anti-military and pro-democracy orientation, such as The Irrawaddy and the Democratic Voice of Burma, are continuing to use the old colony name and will do so in the near-term.
Beyond the realm of the mass press, most governmental bodies use the formal name Myanmar. It is interesting that the US State Department still favors Burma and US President Barack Obama used both during his historical trip in 2012. Intentionally or not, he called the state" Myanmar" when he spoke to President Thein Sein, and" Burma" when he spoke to Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the government and democratic icone.
Aung San Suu Kyi has put on trial that she favoured Burma and was criticised by the state. US President Barack Obama, and Burma's Burmese political opponent Aung San Suu Kyi, on the right, are returning to their home after their press briefing during his last year's meeting.
There is no agreement even in the area of inequality. It is called Burma by Amnesty, while others, such as Myanmar's Humane Right Watch and Fortify Right, call it Myanmar. To put it laymanly, Myanmar seems to sound good about the land, while Burma seems to be used by those who are more careful about the upcoming reform.
That is, those who like to work with the regime, e.g. South East Asia could choose to say "Myanmar", while those who are less optimistic about the changes to come from the military-backed regime would call the less developed nation "Burma". It didn't even seem to be a matter of what the land was named - it was just Myanmar.
You mainly talked about the ethnical and cultural harmonies of the other name. A man even said to me that Aung San Suu Kyi herself used "Burma" only with aliens and British newspapers, but at home she named it Myanmar like everyone else. Although the name Myanmar is not yet universally known, it seems to have the predominance.
Soon, if the military-backed junta persuades the rest of the country that it is truly in favour of full democratisation, the use of Burma could be a thing of the past.