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Burma or Myanmar? Suu Kyi says either one is fine

Burma's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic: AP.

April 23, 2016

THE de facto leader of Burma (Myanmar), Aung San Suu Kyi has told foreign diplomats that it doesn’t matter whether they use Myanmar, or its old name, Burma.

In a speech to the foreign diplomatic corps on Friday, Suu Kyi told the diplomats that they could use whichever of the two to refer to the country, as its constitution does not mandate either name.

In addition to the foreign minister post, Suu Kyi currently holds the specially-created position of state counselor, which was a means of circumventing the constitutional clause that bans her from being the country’s president.

In 1989, Burma’s junta government changed the country’s name from “the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma” to “the Union of Myanmar”.

Those in favor of democracy rebelled against the name-change, deciding to continue using Burma, much to the military government’s annoyance.

Even activists and supporters abroad – including Western media and governments – also stuck to the old name.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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