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Myanmar-Burma Burma, nowadays called Myanmar, about three times the size of Great Britain, has a population of Mongolian race.


Most of the people are Buddhists and it would be difficult to find a town or village without its pagoda. Formerly part of the British Commonwealth, Burma became an independent republic in 1948. The country almost coincides with

  • (i) the basin of the Irrawaddy;
  • (ii) the western part of the Shan Plateau;
  • (iii) the middle and lower Salween which crosses the latter area;
  • (iv) the Sittang valley; and
  • (v) the Tenasserim coast region.

    There are many population groups known as Burmans, Karens, Shans, Kachins and Chins. Indians still inhabit in Burma though half of the population of Indians left Burma due to its anti-Indian postures. The three natural regions are the Arakanyoma and its coastal plain, central lowland of Irrawaddy and the Shan plateau. Tropical monsoon climate persists and is modified by the relief. The principal crop is rice, millet, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, cotton ,tobacco and vegetables. Teak and iron wood are important timber. Coal and salt in Chindwin Valley, Jade from the upper Irrawaddy valley, oil (petroleum in Yenangyuang) from dry central Burma are of economic importance. Shan plateau is the most important mining region because of the occurrence of gold, lead, nickel, copper and zinc. The Tenasserim region is noted for tin deposits.

    Fishing is an important activities along the Arakan coast and Tensserim coast. Irrawaddy, in reality, is the very symbol of the economic life of Burma. Its fertile deltas and valleys support the teeming life of millions of people. All sorts of human activities are centered here. Most of the parts of Burma are rain fed. Only upper Burma remains dry. Maximum rainfall is 150 to 170 inches annually. Lower Burma gets the maximum rainfall resulting in rice production. Teak forest are in abundance and supply valuable wood. Burma has been famous for petroleum production. Lead, zinc, silver, tin, tungsten, gold, rubies etc. are obtained from mining activity. The deltas of Irrawaddy and Siltang are the first rate producers of paddy. Another region producing rice is around Mandalay. Rice is exported and is the most profitable business. Rangoon is the capital city of Burma. Mandalay is equally important city in Upper Burma. Big industries do not exist in Burma. Only small factories for weaving silk and jade cutting have been established.

    Teak, the most valuable tree, grows in single stands scattered amidst other less useful timber. When a tree is selected for felling, a ring is cut through the bark round its 'base, thus killing it. It is then' left to dry for three years, for otherwise it would be too heavy to float.

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