Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why your country has two names

Dear Ako (elder brother),

I hope you are fine and enjoying your loquacious discussions with Ko Moe, Ko Sein, Ko Han and other your philosophic friends in the teashops in Burma as usual. I safely arrived in the Connecticut School of the US on Sunday and now I am writing you from my computer cluster classroom.

Our teaching assistant for economics is a nice and down-to-earth India-born guy who is also a PhD student of political science in my university. As soon as he appeared in the class, he recognized me that I was the new student. “Are you the new student from Burma?” he asked me in his flamboyant voice. When I nodded my head, he asked me another question,” I couldn’t help asking this question. Why your country has two names?”

Actually, I didn’t know how to answer it. I replied in my natural thinking,” People who love their country call our land Burma”. However Mr. Nice Guy seemed not to be satisfied with my answer.

I think in the future, many people who are interested at our country will be asking me the similar question. I feel shy to myself why I have never thought of this kind of inquiry.

I would love to listen to you how I can answer this question in a thinking way.


Nyimalay (little sister)


Anonymous said...

Dear Burmakin,

We are waiting for your answer
Please, post the answer

kyaw said...

dear friend
i received your invetation for wweb page .why do you worry about it and it easy for us.if you want to call to our country is burma or myanmar.
if you want to call myanmar in this country full of problem we need to solve this problem .

Anonymous said...


I think myanmar means all the ethnic groups and Shwe myanmar themselves.
Burma just refers to only Burmese


Ko Kusan said...

dear Friend,

I like you explain about the astrological statement about Than Shwe in mizzima News.

This can be relate to superstitious belief of junta leaders who always are caring theirs astrology.But is astro have real powers, I doubt.

See why MYA has been dormant for 20 years and again be sleeping again.
They=these wicked leaders may witch our country by changing the name.

MM said...

Hey Friends,

Only Myanmar is meaningful because it includes all in myanmar.Burma is the one England call us. not showing integrity of burmese and ethnic groups.

The one who called Burma is the racism nature,it refer to only Burmese.Only Myanmar is the reference of mature union.The military is perfectly right for change name.

Myanmar Maung

Jeg said...

ok from the foreigner point of view I prefer Burma and once she reaches its freedom then by VOTE a new name integrating everybody should take effect. People should choose the name of their country by legal voting.

The junta was never elected by the people, they took power and imposed themselves on the people and took the people's rights to elect a new name for the country because it was convenient to them. Therefore the name myanmar is not a legal name.

That integrates the other ethnic groups? then why are the ethnics being displaced if they are part of myanmar? where is the legality there?

MG said...

Dear Jeg,

I appreciate your comment!I like to add my opinion here.

Almost all living Burmese today are cheated to learn under the tutelage of military dictatorship, a false history of Burma.This false history has a rhetoric of the following:

The first great Union of Myanmar was organized by Anawratha.

The second great Union of Myanmar is organized by Bayintnyaung.

The third great Union of Myanmar is organized by Alaungpaya.

The fourth great Union of Myanmar is organized by General Aung San.

However, never in Burma's history,
Chin and Rakhine had fallen under regin of the aforementioned monarchs. The other kingdoms in Burma were just the feudal systems and had their own autonomy throughout except for sometimes humble respect to these Burmese warriors.

And the native Mons of Burma are fighting against the Tibeto-Burman migrants almost all the time in history.So the fact that these Bumese kings organized the whole Myanmar was a deceptive and unreasonable flattery.

So why they are doing this.They have a purpose to do this.
Actually, the one who organized the Union of Burma was the British government indeed. Never in Burma's history,the union system had ever developed before the administration of British.

Frankly speaking,General Aung San or the current military dictators were just beneficiaries to the legacy of what British had done.So the real fact is that

"The first Union of Burma was organized by her majesty, British Empire"

So what British called this country: Burma and not Myanmar.
Thinking history, my support is that "Burma is the only legitimate name for the union concept" because the first union of this place in South East Asia is born along with this name, Burma.The name myanmar is the trick with very bad ulterior motives of the junta to undermine the role of the British,to raise the role of the Burmese military as though they have ever organized "Myanmar" (that has never been present in history)throughout.Then we can estimate or probably have now known what the military has the secret ideas for its future role in Burma by intentionally changing this name.


CNTarr said...

Hi Mg,

I understood your pts.But I think you should use the term "nation" instead of the "union". The union concept developed only after Burma got independence.

However,I agreed with you for the fact that the first Burma nation was developed because of the British colonial rule and not by these monarchs worshiped by the current junta.The encomiums for these monarchs are looking like breaking the hearts of ethnic minorities in Burma and also spoiling the united spirit of Burmans and their ethnic brothers.This is also another secret strategy of "DIVIDE and RULE" over both Burmese and the minorities by the military government.

The little-known fact of Burmans is that the only culprit who is always trying to DIVIDE the union is the military govt, not the sabotages of opposition forces or ethnic arm groups.By eliminating the name Burma,ethnics were engendered a sense of degradation at the hands of the hegemony of Burmese over them because they had great comfort in dealing with the British in the colonial time of "Burma" that they would be missing grievously.


U Tamanya said...

Please see this link for your arguments about names of Burma.I will be back soon to answer about the millennium men of Burma.

MG said...

Thank you, U Tamanya. Your link is a very good resource!!


Burmakin said...

Here I have a few proposals.

Referring CNT's argument to use the term "nation",I have a preference to agree with MG for using "union" rather than "nation".(disclaimer)

According to the British scholar, Ernest Gellner, a nation includes a
group of people who share the same culture, language, territory, and
history. A country like Burma, Afghanistan,Somalia or Iraq can't never be defined as a nation citing this concept.

However,it doesn't mean that I don't support Ko CNT for its proposal of using "nation" for Burma. "Nation" is also a synonym for a country.Nation is also the most commonly used term in a sense of "building" processes that impresses a sense of involvement of community of people composed of one or more nationalities and possessive of a more or less defined territory and government.In this kind of "building" sense and reflecting cooperation of people as taken granted,the term "nation building" is more plausible than "state building","country building" or union building.So I also appreciate Ko CNT very much for his appropriate choice of words.