New name of BarmaA new name for Barma
Myanmar's policy against Burma
This was the first Myanmar held an unprecedented meeting of this size. Around 900 attendees from over 50 different nations, among them leading personalities from politics and economy, took part. Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, opened the panel. Although the aim of the Forums was to address the problems of the emerging economy in the area, a strong interest in the socio-economic reform of the hosting economy was obvious.
In the margins of the event, a BBC discussion on "Myanmar" was broadcast on television worldwide: Is the name an important part of Myanmar's policy? Why does this topic still exist 23 years after the renaming of the state in 1989? His name was the object of much confusion in the context of the new name.
The State Law and Order Restoration Council's junta re-named the land of the Union of Burma the Union of Myanmar. The name of the Rangoon capitol was also change to Yangon. It was called Burma during Britain's time. During the Panglong 1947 meeting and in previous few month's, the Burmese majoritarian group headed by General Aung San tried several times to persuade the border population, now called the country's minority tribes, to join the Union.
Under such conditions, the concept of the Union was shaped by Burma to convey a feeling of union and affiliation with the various communities under a new Burma of independency. If the border population had not consented to join the Union of Burma, the country's autonomy could either have been postponed or only the areas under Burmese occupation could have been recognized as Burma by the British.
Two fundamental reasons for the name changes exist. Firstly, the army leader argues that the name Burma, as it was given or used by the country's colonizers, should be substituted by an American name. It also means that the use of another name symbolizes liberty from the heritage of our people.
Myanmar's second point is that the concept of Burma applies to only one group of individuals and the use of Myanmar includes all the nationality of the state. Burma is either known as Myanma or Bama in Burmese or Burmese. The Myanma is the literal name of the land, while Bama is the land's spelled name.
Most of the Burmese are still covered by both the name. Although the name was altered in 1989, the Myanmar population and the multinational fellowship still use two different name. Most of the democratic defenders and some in the West, especially the United States and Britain, for example, still use the old name.
Secondly, the Myanmar administration and its followers and sympathizers, as well as a large majority within the global fellowship, the United Nations included, are using the new name. Burmese favourites have argued that it was an anti-democratic regime that renamed the land without the approval or remit of the population.
Also, they say that there is no basic distinction between the two because both still relate to a group of persons. For them, the name should only be changed if a democratic administration approves it with the consent of the parliamentary majorities. It also argues that the concept of Burma is more easily pronounced and memorable.
But with the progressive process of democracy reform in the countryside, the new name has become more common than ever, and the world has progressively recognized it. As the present model of democratisation evolves and the new name is likely to be used by the United States and the United Kingdom for all formal political diplomacy as well.
However, the old name cannot be readily forgot or given up by some in Myanmar company, especially by the older generations and within the expatriates group. The old name of the state will remain in Myanmar policy for the time being until a democratic administration recognizes the name changes formally.
As the subject is both historic and politically, the use of one name over the other still has policy implications, although both are essentially related to a particular group of group.