Re: Burma/Myanmar

From: Christopher John Fynn (
Date: Tue Oct 05 1999 - 20:12:00 EDT

Glen Perkins wrote:

> I do realize that expecting WG2 to go ask Aung San Suu Kyi (the
> democratically elected leader of Burma) what to name Burmese
> characters is hopelessly utopian.

I knew Dr. Michael Aris (Aung San Suu Kyi's husband) and he always
used the name "Burma" - as do several prominent Burmese closely
associated with her that I've met in the UK.

I've never quite understood why people these days seem to feel a need to
change the *English* name of a country or place whenever the powers that
be in that place decide to change it. In English we don't usually call Rome
Germany "Deutschland", India "Bharat" or Bhutan "Drukyul" - so when
speaking or writing English why call Burma "Myanmar", Peking "Beijing" or
Bombay "Mumbai"?. Is it just a coincidence that all the governments who have
insisted on these particular changes do not exactly uphold liberal democracy
and the human rights of the people they rule?

- Chris

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