Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, commonly shortened to Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world's 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 square kilometres (261,227 sq mi), it is the world's 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.
Burma was home to some of the early civilizations of Southeast Asia including the Pyu and the Mon.In the 9th century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the Burmese language and culture slowly became dominant in the country. During this period, Theravada Buddhism gradually became the predominant religion of the country. The Pagan Empire fell due to the Mongol invasions (1277–1301), and several warring states emerged. In the second half of the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia.The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Burma as well as Manipur and Assam.
The British conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century. Since independence in 1948, the country's myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running unresolved civil wars. From 1962 to 2011, the country was under military rule. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country.The military junta was officially dissolved in 2011 following a general election in 2010 and a nominally civilian government installed, though the military retains enormous influence.