The ASR Introspect | Myanmar

Through annals of time, Myanmar records a spread in history of real eventful humane struggles that from kings dethroned and rightful nationals de-citizenised to an epic chance cross-fertilization of hopes for political healing.

by Alexander Solomon

Myanmar or Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest. Myanmar is the largest country in Mainland Southeast Asia and the 10th largest in Asia by area. As of 2017, the population was about 54 million. Its capital city is Naypyidaw , and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).

(reference from Wikipedia)

The pre-history of Burma is evidence-based existent.

Archaeological evidence shows that Homo erectus lived in the region now known as Myanmar as early as 750,000 years ago. The first evidence of Homo Sapiens is dated to about 25,000 BP with discoveries of stone tools in central Myanmar. Evidence of Neolithic age domestication of plants and animals and the use of polished stone tools dating to sometime between 10,000 and 6,000 BCE has been discovered.

The Bronze Age arrived c. 1500 BCE when people in the region were turning copper into bronze, growing rice and domesticating poultry and pigs; they were among the first people in the world to do so.

The  Iron Age began around 500 BCE with the emergence of iron-working settlements in an area south of present-day Mandalay. Iron Age Burmese cultures also had influences from outside sources such as India and Thailand.

The history of Burma covers the period from the time of first-known human settlements 13,000 years ago to the present day. The earliest inhabitants of recorded history were a Tibeto-Burman-speaking people who established the Pyu-city-states ranged as far south as Pyay and adopted Theravada Buddhism.

Another group, the Bamar people, entered the upper Irrawaddy valley in the early 9th century. They went on to establish the Pagan Kingdom (1044–1297), the first-ever unification of the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. The Burmese language and Bamar culture slowly came to replace Pyu norms during this period.

(reference according to Wikipedia)

The map of Myanmar is an uncanny resemblance of the legendary ‘Bird of Paradise’ that is found only in the highlands of West Papua.

Locals in West Papua call it Burung Cenderawasih.

King Anawrahta, 1044-1077 established the Pagan Empire, the first kingdom of Ancient Burma.

Image Source: Wikipedia/KingAnawrahta

The following dynasties followed; Myinsaing (1297–1313), Pinya (1313–1364), Sagaing (1315–1364), Ava (1364–1555), Prome (1482–1542), Hanthawaddy (1287–1539, 1550–1552), Maruk-U (1429–1785), Toungoo (1510–1752), Restored Hathawaddy (1740–1757), Konbaung (1752–1885).

Pretenders to the Burmese throne took over since 1885.

British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the successive three Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence.

The region under British control was known as British Burma. Various portions of Burmese territories, including Arakan (Rakhine State) or Tenasserim were annexed by the British after their victory in the First-Anglo Burmese; Lower Burma was annexed in 1852 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War.

The annexed territories were designated the minor province (a chief commissionership) of British India in 1862.

Soe Win, the great-grandson of the last king of Burma, now Myanmar. ‘From when the British took over, we lost our identity.’ Photograph: Alex Bescoby/Grammar Productions

On Friday 30 December 2016, the BBC published , “After 130 years of obscurity, Myanmar’s forgotten royals make a comeback.”

It reported, “From when the British took over, we lost our identity,” Soe Win said. “Nowadays, the country is changing, we have some space. Our royal family members would like to be part of developing the country.”

And in November, 131 years after Thibaw entered exile, about 100 royal descendants were allowed into Mandalay palace to commemorate the end of the king’s reign. Previous ceremonies were held in secret.

Thibaw’s government was one of the best educated the country ever had, with many scholars returned from studies in Europe, fluent in the Burmese classics as well as English and French,” said the historian Thant Myint-U.

Yet the British wanted complete control. They were shocked at the king’s proclamations for independence and had tired of his requests that they remove their shoes during royal visits.

A day after taking Mandalay, the British escorted the king and his wife away on a bullock cart.

To crush any residual affinity for the monarchy, British propaganda against Thibaw “went into high gear”, said Thant Mtint-U, painting the monarch as an ogre, despot and drunkard.

“Unfortunately, a lot of these myths about the king – that he was a uniquely weak individual, that he was someone who was not up to the task of government – are things that have seeped into the popular imagination in this country.”

Image Source:

King Thibaw was the last king of Myanmar reigning 1878-1885, abolished to India under house arrest by the British colony. Since then, pretenders to the Burmese Throne took over.

The last king of Myanmar died in 1916 in Ratnagiri, India.

On 16 December 2016, the Frontier Myanmar published “Bringing home the king”.

It stated, Soe Win admitted that in order for Thibaw’s body to be returned, permission would be required from both the Myanmar and Indian authorities.

Such a move would not only be important for him as a descendant, but for the whole country, he added.

“They did not go there by will, so we need to bring him home. The queen is buried in Yangon, but that is a temporary tomb. We have to take them together back to their original place in Mandalay, to the palace.”

Likewise, Hteik Su Phaya Gyi thinks the time is right.

“It is quite natural,” she said. “He is deserted there.”

The story about Myanmar continues, and human rights issue has also long been a problem.

The UN human rights envoy to Myanmar reported “the long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community… could amount to crimes against humanity”, and there have been warnings of an unfolding genocide.

Described by journalists and news outlets as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohingya population is denied citizenship under the 1982 Myanmar nationality law . They are also restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs.

The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who predominantly follow Islam and reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar (previously known as Burma). Before the displacement crisis in 2017, when over 740,000 fled to Bangladesh, an estimated 1.4 million Rohingya lived in Myanmar.

The Rohingya maintain they are indigenous to western Myanmar with a heritage of over a millennium and influence from the Arabs, Mughals and Potuguese. 

The community claims it is descended from people in precolonial Arakan and colonial Arakan; historically, the region was an independent kingdom between Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

(source from Wikipedia)

On 2nd April 2021, the BBC News published “Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?”

It states, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi’s international reputation has suffered greatly as a result of Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya minority.

She appeared before the International Court of Justice in 2019, where she denied allegations that the military had committed genocide.

The Myanmar 2021 coup de’tat took place early year 2021.

The 2021 coup occurred in the aftermath of the general election on 8 November 2020, in which the NLD won 396 out of 476 seats in parliament, an even larger margin of victory than in the 2015 election. The military’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won only 33 seats.

The army disputed the results, claiming that the vote was fraudulent. The coup attempt had been rumoured for several days, prompting statements of concern from Western nations such as the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and Australia.

A coup de’tat in Myanmar began on the morning of 1 February 2021, when democratically elected members of the country’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were deposed by the  Tatmadaw—Myanmar’s military—which then vested power in a straocracy.

The Tatmadaw proclaimed a year-long state of emergency and declared power had been transferred to Commander-in-chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing. 

It declared the results of the November 2020 general election invalid and stated its intent to hold a new election at the end of the state of emergency even though most of Myanmar’s people are satisfied with the results of the election. 

The coup de’tat occurred the day before the Parliament of Myanmar was due to swear in the members elected at the 2020 election, thereby preventing this from occurring. President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were detained, along with ministers, their deputies and members of Parliament.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored article. The sources and information quoted are to correct time of reference. Opinions herewith are not intended to market make or manipulate trading interests of any parties. Readers may/may not forecast trading decisions from these findings. Alexander Solomon bears no responsibility to market adjustments due from publish of this report.


Alexander Solomon is an independent industry commentator and the author of adventure novels ‘Aces High @ 23 Wall Street’ and ‘F-A-M-E ‘ze Great’. He has worked in Singapore Police Force, Singapore International Monetary Exchange, Singapore Exchange, Mediacorp and Philip Capital.


Published by alexandersolomon

Alexander Solomon LLP Singapore ACRA T15LL1711H l l

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