chapter  6
The Republic of Union of Myanmar and the ASEAN and APT processes
ByMAUNG MAUNG SOE
Pages 21

The early history of Myanmar began in the eleventh century. Those days were called the golden age of a united Bagan dynasty. The first king of Bagan was King Anawrahta, who set up Myanmar under his monarchy. He worshiped Buddha and Buddhism became the national religion in his era. Bagan was the first capital in Myanmar history. Bagan is also called City of Pagodas. The last kingdom was ended by King Thibaw from the Konbaung dynasty, and Mandalay was the last capital in Myanmar history before the British colonization. The British colonial authorities had practiced the divide and rule method

in Myanmar. Before making Myanmar a colony, the British had fought Anglo-Burmese (Myanmar) wars for more than 60 years. They occupied Myanmar completely in 1886. After making Myanmar a colony, it became one of the provinces under India. Myanmar has numerous ethnic groups like the Shan, Kachin, Kayin, Mon, Myanmar, Yakhain, Kayar, and Chin. They provided the British with the conditions to adopt a divide and rule strategy. However, the first protests by Myanmar intellectual classes and Buddhist monks were launched against British rules and regulations in the 1920s. The outbreak of the Second World War created opportunities to bring about the independence of Myanmar. Myanmar finally became independent on January 4, 1948, at 4:20 am. That time was selected as a result of the agreement between the British and Myanmar. Ten years after independence, the democratic government of Myanmar was challenged by communist and ethnic groups who felt under-represented in the 1948 constitution. Prime Minister U Nu was then removed by General Ne Win, one of General Aung San’s followers. From 1962 to 1988, the country was closed to the outside world and very isolated. The political system then was based on the Burmese Way to Socialism. In July 1988, Ne Win announced his retirement as the head of state, and on August 8, Myanmar was ruled by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), later renamed as State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). On March, 30 2011, the political system was moved to

is seen to be one of the associations that could play a vital role in assisting progress in Myanmar. Myanmar became the chair of ASEAN in 2014.