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Goverment and Politics in Burma [20

Subject: Goverment and Politics in Burma [20 May 1999]

Government and Politics in Burma
20 May 1999

The following document is a US government report on Government and Politics
in Burma. The document is based on facts investigated by US government
agencies worldwide.The report is the most recent and updated.


Julien MNoe

Country name: 
conventional long form: Union of Burma 
conventional short form: Burma 
local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US
Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar) 
local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw 
former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma 

Data code: BM 

Government type: military regime 

National capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon) 

Administrative divisions: 7 divisions* (yin-mya, singular?yin) and 7 states
(pyine-mya, singular - pyine); Chin State, Ayeyarwady*, Bago*, Kachin State,
Kayin State, Kayah State, Magway*, Mandalay*, Mon State, Rakhine State,
Sagaing*, Shan State, Tanintharyi*, Yangon* 

Independence: 4 January 1948 (from UK) 

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 January (1948) 

Constitution: 3 January 1974 (suspended since 18 September 1988); national
convention started on 9 January 1993 to draft a new constitution; chapter
headings and three of 15 sections have been approved 

Legal system: does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction 

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal 

Executive branch: 
chief of state: Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and
Development Council Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note?the prime
minister is both the chief of state and head of government 
head of government: Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and
Development Council Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note?the prime
minister is both the chief of state and head of government 
cabinet: State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); military junta, so
named 15 November 1997, which initially assumed power 18 September 1988
under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council; the SPDC oversees
the cabinet 
elections: none; the prime minister assumed power upon resignation of the
former prime minister 

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485
seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) 

elections: last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never convened 
election results: percent of vote by party?NA%; seats by party?NLD 396, NUP
10, other 79 

Judicial branch: limited; remnants of the British-era legal system in place,
but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not
independent of the executive 

Political parties and leaders: Union Solidarity and Development Association
(USDA, proregime), THAN AUNG, general secretary; National Unity Party (NUP,
proregime), THA KYAW; National League for Democracy (NLD), AUNG SHWE,
chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary; and eight minor legal parties 

Political pressure groups and leaders: National Coalition Government of the
Union of Burma (NCGUB), headed by Dr. SEIN WIN?consists of individuals
legitimately elected to the People's Assembly but not recognized by the
military regime; the group fled to a border area and joined with insurgents
in December 1990 to form a parallel government; Kachin Independence Army
(KIA); United Wa State Army (UWSA); Karen National Union (KNU); several Shan
factions; All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF) 

International organization participation: AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO,
(nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO,

Diplomatic representation in the US: 
chief of mission: Ambassador TIN WINN 
chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 
telephone: [1] (202) 332-9044, 9045 
FAX: [1] (202) 332-9046 
consulate(s) general: New York 

Diplomatic representation from the US: 
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent M. WIEDEMANN 
embassy: 581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521) 
mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546 
telephone: [95] (1) 282055, 282181 (operator assistance required) 
FAX: [95] (1) 280409 

Flag description: red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner
bearing, all in white, 14 five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel
containing a stalk of rice; the 14 stars represent the 14 administrative

Source:US Intelligence Agencies