A republic of southeast asia, northwest of thailand, long familiar as burma. Its capital is yangon, formerly rangoon. Inhabited by people of mongolian stock and probably of tibetan origin, by the 3d century a.d. It was settled by hindus. The modern burmese state was founded in the 18th century but was in conflict with the british during the 19th century. Made a crown colony of great britain in 1937, it was granted independence in 1947. In 1989 it became myanmar. The name comes from myanma, meaning the strong, as applied to the burmese people themselves.

(12 Dec 1998)

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