Saturday, 30 June 2012

Myanmar warns Suu Kyi to stop calling nation Burma, a British colonialism legacy

 YANGON: Myanmar’s authorities have ordered opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to stop calling the country “Burma”, its colonial-era name widely used to defy the former junta.

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits the Louvre Museum on Friday, June 29, 2012 in Paris. Myanmar authorities sternly urged Suu Kyi to stop calling the country 'Burma' and start using the name 'Myanmar.' (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

The old regime changed the country’s official name two decades ago to  Myanmar, saying the term Burma was a legacy of British colonialism and implied  the ethnically diverse land belonged only to the Burman majority.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party vigorously  opposed the change, decrying it as a symbolic step by the generals towards  creating a new country.

Berating her for using the name “Burma” during landmark recent visits to  Thailand and Europe, the Election Commission accused Suu Kyi and party members  of flouting a constitution they have vowed to uphold.

“As it is prescribed in the constitution that ’The state shall be known as  The Republic of the Union of Myanmar’, no one has the right to call (the  country) Burma,” it said in a statement, published in state mouthpiece The New  Light of Myanmar.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called Myanmar ’Burma’ in her speech to the World  Economic Forum in Thailand on 1 June, 2012,” it noted.

“Again, Daw Aung San Suu  Kyi called Myanmar ’Burma’ in her speeches during her Europe tour.”

“Daw” is a term of respect in Myanmar.

Global leaders also face a dilemma of what to call the country, which is  emerging from decades of army rule under the guidance of reform-minded Prime  Minister Thein Sein.

Britain’s David Cameron calls it “Burma” while recent speeches by US  President Barack Obama also referred to its colonial name.

But his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose a more diplomatic path on  a trip to the nation in December, employing the term Burma but saying it  sparingly, generally preferring to dodge controversy by saying “this country.” -- AFP NST

1 comment:

  1. The British educated and Nobel Prizes winner, Aung San Suu Kyi speaks Oxford English, is simply following the British Bibles.

    Remember, Suu Kyi's father, Aung San was a Myanmar's army General and an independence hero who outed the British control of Myanmar.