Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand and known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country; the capital and largest city is a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar, its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other.
European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign declining thereafter until being destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom, he was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's influential role in politics.
Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta. Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy. Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was known by the exonym Siam; the word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word; the word Śyâma is not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century; the Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. The signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed to Siam from 1946 to 1948. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs".
A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai/Tai would have evolved from the etymon *kri:'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *dajA > tʰajA2 or > tajA2. Michel Ferlus' work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for t
Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī, known as Al-Biruni in English, was an Iranian scholar and polymath. He was from Khwarazm – a region which encompasses modern-day western Uzbekistan, northern Turkmenistan. Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era and was well versed in physics, mathematics and natural sciences, distinguished himself as a historian and linguist, he studied all fields of science and was compensated for his research and strenuous work. Royalty and powerful members of society sought out Al-Biruni to conduct research and study to uncover certain findings, he lived during the Islamic Golden Age, in which scholarly thought went hand in hand with the thinking and methodology of the Islamic religion. In addition to this type of influence, Al-Biruni was influenced by other nations, such as the Greeks, who he took inspiration from when he turned to studies of philosophy, he was conversant in Khwarezmian, Arabic and knew Greek and Syriac. He spent much of his life in Ghazni capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty, in modern-day central-eastern Afghanistan.
In 1017 he travelled to South Asia and authored a study of Indian culture after exploring the Hinduism practised in India. He was given the title "founder of Indology", he was an impartial writer on customs and creeds of various nations, was given the title al-Ustadh for his remarkable description of early 11th-century India. He was born in the outer district of the capital of the Afrighid dynasty of Khwarezm. To conduct research, Al-Biruni used different methods to tackle the various fields. Many consider Al-Biruni one of the greatest scientists in history, of Islam because of his discoveries and methodology, he lived during the Islamic Golden Age, which promoted astronomy and encouraged all scholars to work on their research. Al-Biruni spent the first twenty-five years of his life in Khwarezm where he studied Islamic jurisprudence, grammar, astronomy, medicine and dabbled in the field of physics and most other sciences as well; the Iranian Khwarezmian language, the language of Biruni, survived for several centuries after Islam until the Turkification of the region, so must some at least of the culture and lore of ancient Khwarezm, for it is hard to see the commanding figure of Biruni, a repository of so much knowledge, appearing in a cultural vacuum.
He was sympathetic to the Afrighids, who were overthrown by the rival dynasty of Ma'munids in 995. He left his homeland for Bukhara under the Samanid ruler Mansur II the son of Nuh. There he corresponded with Avicenna and there are extant exchanges of views between these two scholars. In 998, he went to the court of the Ziyarid amir of Tabaristan, Shams al-Mo'ali Abol-hasan Ghaboos ibn Wushmgir. There he wrote his first important work, al-Athar al-Baqqiya'an al-Qorun al-Khaliyya on historical and scientific chronology around 1000 A. D. though he made some amendments to the book. He visited the court of the Bavandid ruler Al-Marzuban. Accepting the definite demise of the Afrighids at the hands of the Ma'munids, he made peace with the latter who ruled Khwarezm, their court at Gorganj was gaining fame for its gathering of brilliant scientists. In 1017, Mahmud of Ghazni took Rey. Most scholars, including al-Biruni, were taken to the capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty. Biruni was made court astrologer and accompanied Mahmud on his invasions into India, living there for a few years.
He was forty-four years old. Biruni became acquainted with all things related to India, he may have learned some Sanskrit. During this time he wrote his study of India, finishing it around 1030. Along with his writing, Al-Biruni made sure to extend his study to science while on the expeditions, he sought to find a method to measure the height of the sun, created an early version of an astrolabe for that purpose. Al-Biruni was able to make much progress in his study over the frequent travels that he went on throughout the lands of India. Ninety-five of 146 books known to have been written by Bīrūnī were devoted to astronomy and related subjects like mathematical geography, his religion contributed to his research of astronomy, as in Islam and prayer require knowing the precise directions of sacred locations, which can only be found using astronomical data. Biruni's major work on astrology is an astronomical and mathematical text, only the last chapter concerns astrological prognostication, his endorsement of astrology is limited, in so far as he condemns horary astrology as'sorcery'.
In discussing speculation by other Muslim writers on the possible motion of the Earth, Biruni acknowledged that he could neither prove nor disprove it, but commented favourably on the idea that the Earth rotates. He wrote an extensive commentary on Indian astronomy in the Tahqiq ma li-l-hind translation of Aryabhatta's work, in which he claims to have resolved the matter of Earth's rotation in a work on astronomy, no longer extant, his Miftah-ilm-alhai'a: he rotation of the earth does in no way impair the value of astronomy, as all appearances of an astronomic character can quite as well be explained according to this theory as to the other. There
Portuguese people are a Romance ethnic group indigenous to Portugal that share a common Portuguese culture and speak Portuguese. Their predominant religion is Christianity Roman Catholicism, though vast segments of the population the younger generations, have no religious affiliation; the Portuguese people's heritage includes the pre-Celts and Celts. A number of Portuguese descend from converted Jewish and North Africans as a result of the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula; the Romans, Scandinavians, migratory Germanic tribes like the Suebi, Vandals and Buri who settled in what is today's Portugal The Roman Republic conquered the Iberian Peninsula during the 2nd and 1st centuries B. C. from the extensive maritime empire of Carthage during the series of Punic Wars. As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of local languages stem from the Vulgar Latin. Due to the large historical extent from the 16th century of the Portuguese Empire and the subsequent colonization of territories in Asia and the Americas, as well as historical and recent emigration, Portuguese communities can be found in many diverse regions around the globe, a large Portuguese diaspora exists.
Portuguese people began and led the Age of Exploration which started in 1415 with the conquest of Ceuta and culminated in an empire with territories that are now part of over 50 countries. The Portuguese Empire lasted nearly 600 years, seeing its end when Macau was returned to China in 1999; the discovery of several lands unknown to the Europeans in the Americas, Africa and Oceania, helped pave the way for modern globalization and domination of Western civilization. The Portuguese are a Southwestern European population, with origins predominantly from Southern and Western Europe; the earliest modern humans inhabiting Portugal are believed to have been Paleolithic peoples that may have arrived in the Iberian Peninsula as early as 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Current interpretation of Y-chromosome and mtDNA data suggests that modern-day Portuguese trace a significant amount of these lineages to the paleolithic peoples who began settling the European continent between the end of the last glaciation around 45,000 years ago.
Northern Iberia is believed to have been a major Ice-age refuge from which Paleolithic humans colonized Europe. Migrations from what is now Northern Iberia during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic, links modern Iberians to the populations of much of Western Europe and the British Isles and Atlantic Europe. Recent books published by geneticists Bryan Sykes, Stephen Oppenheimer and Spencer Wells have emphasized the large Paleolithic and Mesolithic Iberian influence in the modern day Irish and Scottish gene-pool as well as parts of the English. Indeed, Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in all of the Iberian peninsula and western Europe. Within the R1b haplogroup there are modal haplotypes. One of the best-characterized of these haplotypes is the Atlantic Modal Haplotype; this haplotype reaches the highest frequencies in the British Isles. In Portugal it reckons 65% in the South summing 87% northwards, in some regions 96%; the Neolithic colonization of Europe from Western Asia and the Middle East beginning around 10,000 years ago reached Iberia, as most of the rest of the continent although, according to the demic diffusion model, its impact was most in the southern and eastern regions of the European continent.
Starting in the 3rd millennium BC as well as in the Bronze Age, the first wave of migrations into Iberia of speakers of Indo-European languages occurred. These were followed by others that can be identified as Celts. Urban cultures developed in southeastern Iberia, such as Tartessos, influenced by the Phoenician colonization of coastal Mediterranean Iberia, which shifted to Greek colonization. There is little or no evidence of settlements in Portugal by either Greeks or Phoenicians despite some statements to the contrary; these two processes defined Iberia's, Portugal's, cultural landscape—Continental in the northwest and Mediterranean towards the southeast, as historian José Mattoso describes it. Given the origins from Paleolithic and Neolithic settlers as well as Indo-European migrations, one can say that the Portuguese ethnic origin is a mixture of pre-Roman, pre-Indo-Europeans, pre-Celtics or para-Celts such as the Lusitanians of Lusitania, Celtic peoples such as Calaicians or Gallaeci of Gallaecia, the Celtici and the Cynetes of the Alentejo and the Algarve.
The Romans were an important influence on Portuguese culture. Other minor influences included the Phoenicians/Carthaginians, the Vandals and the Sarmatian Alans, the Visigoths and Suebi; the ruled from 711 until the Reconquista of the Algarve in 1249. In the 9th and 10th centuries small Viking settlements were established in the North coastal regions of Douro and Minho. For the Y-chromosome and MtDNA lineages of the Portuguese and other peoples see this map and this one. Portuguese have maintained a certain degree of ethnic and cultural specific characteristics-ratio with the Basques, since ancient times; the results of the present HLA stu
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the seven union territories of India comprising 572 islands of which 37 are inhabited, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The territory is about 150 km north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Myanmar by the Andaman Sea, it comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 150 km wide Ten Degree Channel, with the Andamans to the north of this latitude, the Nicobars to the south. The Andaman Sea lies to the Bay of Bengal to the west; the territory's capital is the city of Port Blair. The total land area of these islands is 8,249 km2; the capital of Nicobar Islands is Car Nicobar. The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces; the Andaman Islands are home to an uncontacted people. The Sentinelese are the only people known to not have reached further than a Paleolithic level of technology.
In December 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a two-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, renamed three of the islands as a tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep; the PM made this announcement during a speech at the Netaji Stadium, marking the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Indian flag by Bose there. The earliest archaeological evidence documents some 2,200 years; however and cultural studies suggest that the indigenous Andamanese people may have been isolated from other populations during the Middle Paleolithic, which ended 30,000 years ago. Since that time, the Andamanese have diversified into linguistically and culturally distinct, territorial groups; the Nicobar Islands appear to have been populated by people of various backgrounds. By the time of European contact, the indigenous inhabitants had coalesced into the Nicobarese people, speaking a Mon-Khmer language. Both are unrelated to the Andamanese, but being related to the Austroasiatic languages in mainland Southeast Asia.
Rajendra Chola I, used the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a strategic naval base to launch an expedition against the Sriwijaya Empire. The Cholas called the island Ma-Nakkavaram, found in the Thanjavur inscription of 1050 AD. European traveller Marco Polo referred to this island as'Necuverann' and a corrupted form of the Tamil name Nakkavaram would have led to the modern name Nicobar during the British colonial period; the history of organised European colonisation on the islands began when settlers from the Danish East India Company arrived in the Nicobar Islands on 12 December 1755. On 1 January 1756, the Nicobar Islands were made a Danish colony, first named New Denmark, Frederick's Islands. During 1754–1756 they were administrated from Tranquebar; the islands were abandoned due to outbreaks of malaria between 14 April 1759 and 19 August 1768, from 1787 to 1807/05, 1814 to 1831, 1830 to 1834 and from 1848 for good. From 1 June 1778 to 1784, Austria mistakenly assumed that Denmark had abandoned its claims to the Nicobar Islands and attempted to establish a colony on them, renaming them Theresia Islands.
In 1789 the British set up a naval base and penal colony on Chatham Island next to Great Andaman, where now lies the town of Port Blair. Two years the colony was moved to Port Cornwallis on Great Andaman, but it was abandoned in 1796 due to disease. Denmark's presence in the territory ended formally on 16 October 1868 when it sold the rights to the Nicobar Islands to Britain, which made them part of British India in 1869. In 1858 the British again established a colony at Port Blair; the primary purpose was to set up a penal colony for criminal convicts from the Indian subcontinent. The colony came to include the infamous Cellular Jail. In 1872 the Andaman and Nicobar islands were united under a single chief commissioner at Port Blair. During World War II, the islands were under Japanese control, only nominally under the authority of the Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind of Subhash Chandra Bose. Bose visited the islands during the war, renamed them as "Shaheed-dweep" and "Swaraj-dweep". General Loganathan, of the Indian National Army was made the Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
On 22 February 1944 he along with four INA officers -- Sub. Lt. Md. Iqbal, Lt. Suba Singh and stenographer Srinivasan—arrived at Lambaline Airport in Port Blair. On 21 March 1944 the Headquarters of the Civil Administration was established near the Gurudwara at Aberdeen Bazaar. On 2 October 1944, Col. Loganathan handed over the charge to Maj. Alvi and left Port Blair, never to return. Japanese Vice Admiral Hara Teizo, Major-General Tamenori Sato surrendered the islands to Brigadier J A Salomons, commander of 116th Indian Infantry Brigade, Chief Administrator Mr Noel K Patterson, Indian Civil Service, on 7 October 1945, in a ceremony performed on the Gymkhana Ground, Port Blair. During the independence of both India and Burma, the departing British announced their intention to resettle all Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmese on these islands to form their own nation, although this never materialised, it became part of India in 1950 and was declared as a union territory of the nation in 1956. India has been developing defence facilities on the islands since the 1
The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas are an archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, north and east of Timor; the islands were known as the Spice Islands due to the nutmeg and cloves that were exclusively found there, the presence of which sparked colonial interest from Europe in the sixteenth century. The Maluku Islands formed a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999, when it was split into two provinces. A new province, North Maluku, incorporates the area between Morotai and Sula, with the arc of islands from Buru and Seram to Wetar remaining within the existing Maluku Province. North Maluku is predominantly Muslim, its capital is Sofifi on Halmahera island. Maluku province has a larger Christian population, its capital is Ambon. Though Melanesian, many island populations in the Banda Islands, were massacred in the seventeenth century during the spice wars.
A second influx of immigrants from Java began in the early twentieth century under the Dutch and continues in the Indonesian era. Between 1999 and 2002, conflict between Muslims and Christians killed thousands and displaced half a million people; the name Maluku is thought to have been derived from the term used by Arab traders for the region, Jazirat al-Moluk, from the word malik. However, since the name itself has been mentioned in a fourteenth-century Majapahit eulogy, that predates the arrival of Islam in Maluku at the late fifteenth century, other sources claim that the name comes from a local language with the meaning "the head of a bull" or "the head of something large"; the Maluku Islands were a single province from Indonesian independence until 1999 when they were split into North Maluku and Maluku. North Maluku province includes Ternate, Tidore and Halmahera. Arab merchants began bringing Islam. Peaceful conversion to Islam occurred in many islands in the centres of trade, while aboriginal animism persisted in the hinterlands and more isolated islands.
Archaeological evidence here relies on the occurrence of pigs' teeth, as evidence of pork eating or abstinence therefrom. The most significant lasting effects of the Portuguese presence was the disruption and reorganization of the Southeast Asian trade, in eastern Indonesia—including Maluku—the introduction of Christianity; the Portuguese had conquered the city-state of Malacca in the early sixteenth century and their influence was most felt in Maluku and other parts of eastern Indonesia. After the Portuguese annexed Malacca in August 1511, one Portuguese diary noted'it is thirty years since they became Moors'. Afonso de Albuquerque learned of the route to the Banda Islands and other'Spice Islands', sent an exploratory expedition of three vessels under the command of António de Abreu, Simão Afonso Bisigudo and Francisco Serrão. On the return trip, Francisco Serrão was shipwrecked at Hitu island in 1512. There he established ties with the local ruler, impressed with his martial skills; the rulers of the competing island states of Ternate and Tidore sought Portuguese assistance and the newcomers were welcomed in the area as buyers of supplies and spices during a lull in the regional trade due to the temporary disruption of Javanese and Malay sailings to the area following the 1511 conflict in Malacca.
The spice trade soon revived but the Portuguese would not be able to monopolize nor disrupt this trade. Allying himself with Ternate's ruler, Serrão constructed a fortress on that tiny island and served as the head of a mercenary band of Portuguese seamen under the service of one of the two local feuding sultans who controlled most of the spice trade. Both Serrão and Ferdinand Magellan, perished before they could meet one another; the Portuguese first landed in Ambon in 1513, but it only became the new centre for their activities in Maluku following the expulsion from Ternate. European power in the region was weak and Ternate became an expanding, fiercely Islamic and anti-European state under the rule of Sultan Baab Ullah and his son Sultan Said. Following Portuguese missionary work, there have been large Christian communities in eastern Indonesia through to contemporary times, which has contributed to a sense of shared interest with Europeans among the Ambonese; the Dutch competed with the Portuguese in the area for trade.
With the declaration of a single republic of Indonesia in 1950 to replace the federal state, a Republic of South Maluku was declared and attempted to secede. And led by Chris Soumokil and supported by the Moluccan members of the Netherlands special troops; this movement was defeated by the Indonesian army and by special agreement with the Netherlands the troops were transferred to the Netherlands. Maluku is one of the first provinces of Indonesia, proclaimed in 1945 until 1999, when the Maluku Utara and Halmahera Tengah Regencies were split off as a separate province of North Maluku, its capital used to be Ternate, on a small island to the west of the large island of Halmahera, but has been moved to Sofifi on Halmahera itself. The capital of the remaining part of Maluku province remains at Ambon. Religious conflict erupted across the islands in January 1999; the subsequent 18 months were characterized by fighting between local groups of Muslims and Christians, the destruction of thousands of houses, the displacement of approximately
Myanmar the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west and Laos to its east and China to its north and northeast. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 5,876 km forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea; the country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometres in size, its capital city is Naypyidaw, its largest city and former capital is Yangon. Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations since 1997. Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language and Theravada Buddhism became dominant in the country.
The Pagan Kingdom fell. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Mainland Southeast Asia; the early 19th century Konbaung dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British took over the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence as a democratic nation. Following a coup d'état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the Burma Socialist Programme Party. For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011, the military junta was dissolved following a 2010 general election, a nominally civilian government was installed.
This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, has improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions. There is, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, religious clashes. In the landmark 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses. However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics. Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP stood at its GDP at US$221.5 billion. The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government; as of 2016, Myanmar ranks 145 out of 188 countries in human development, according to the Human Development Index. Both the names Myanmar and Burma derive from the earlier Burmese Mranma, an ethnonym for the majority Bamar ethnic group, of uncertain etymology.
The terms are popularly thought to derive from "Brahma Desha" after Brahma. In 1989, the military government changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period or earlier, including that of the country itself: "Burma" became "Myanmar"; the renaming remains a contested issue. Many political and ethnic opposition groups and countries continue to use "Burma" because they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government or its authority to rename the country. In April 2016, soon after taking office, Aung San Suu Kyi clarified that foreigners are free to use either name, "because there is nothing in the constitution of our country that says that you must use any term in particular"; the country's official full name is the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar". Countries that do not recognise that name use the long form "Union of Burma" instead. In English, the country is popularly known as either "Burma" or "Myanmar". Both these names are derived from the name of the majority Burmese Bamar ethnic group.
Myanmar is considered to be the literary form of the name of the group, while Burma is derived from "Bamar", the colloquial form of the group's name. Depending on the register used, the pronunciation would be Myamah; the name Burma has been in use in English since the 18th century. Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of countries such as the United Kingdom. Official United States policy retains Burma as the country's name, although the State Department's website lists the country as "Burma" and Barack Obama has referred to the country by both names; the government of Canada has in the past used Burma, such as in its 2007 legislation imposing sanctions, but as of the mid-2010s uses Myanmar. The Czech Republic uses Myanmar, although its Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions both Myanmar and Burma on its website; the United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, China, Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland. Most English-speaking international news media refer to the country by the name Myanmar, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation /Ra