Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps

Contemporary Myanmar and the World (1962-2018)

International Tiger Day

A hundred years ago there were tens of thousands of tigers across Asia, from the Black Sea to the Pacific and from Siberia to the Indian Ocean. Today there are only a few thousand left in every shrinking enclave. Myanmar is one of 13 countries where tigers still live. In the 19th century, tigers lived in the outskirts of Rangoon, including "Tiger Alley" (now U Wisara Road). In 1903 British soldiers shot a tigress who had wandered onto the Shwedagon...

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Important Figures from Myanmar History Who Studied at Cambridge

No university outside of Myanmar (and probably no university in the world other than Rangoon University) has been as important to Myanmar history as Cambridge. Important figures from Myanmar history who studied at Cambridge include: President Dr. Ba U, Prime Minister and later Adhipati Dr Ba Maw, KNU President Saw Ba U Gyi, Foreign Minister Sao Hkun Hkio, Justice U Chan Htoon, Justice U Myint Thein, Justice U Kyaw Myint, historian and Rangoon University Rector Dr Htin Aung, ICS U...

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The 8 July 1962 New York Times’ Headline

The 8 July 1962 New York Times ran this headline: "15 DEAD IN BURMA IN STUDENTS' RIOT; 27 Wounded by Army After Curfew Protest Campus Building Is Blown Up". (Photo courtesy of Mizzima)

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The Day Myanmar Democracy Died

On 2 March 1962 beginning at 2 am units of the Burma Army seized control of the Secretariat, the Windermere Estate, the guest house at Halpin Road, and other important government sites. President Mahn Win Maung, Prime Minister U Nu, all members of the cabinet and many other senior political figures including leading Shan sawbwas were arrested over the day. Sao Myee Myee, the 17-year-old son of the first President Sao Shwe Thaik was killed before dawn during the takeover...

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Burmese Names in the Novel 'Rayuela' by Julio Cortazar

In the 1963 novel "Rayuela" by the great Argentine writer Julio Cortazar, the main character comes across a list of words that have no meaning, and so seem magical. This was the list of strange and fantastic words: U Nu, U Tin, Mya Bu, Thado Thiri Thudama U E Maung, Sithu U Cho, Wunna Kyaw Htin U Khin Zaw, Wunna Kyaw Htin U Thein Han, Wunna Kyaw Htin U Myo Min, Thiri Pyanchi U Thant, Thado Maha Thray Sithu U...

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Burmese at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal

To the right of the image is Brigadier Tin Pe and to the left is Yi Yi Chit Maung and Mrs. Robert Shaw, the official hostess of the World's Fair. Expo '67 (or more properly the 1967 "International and Universal Exposition") was one of the most successful of all the many World's Fairs of the 20th century, with over 50 million people visiting and 62 nations, including Burma, participating. The Burma Pavilion highlighted the country's precious stones, mineral, forest and...

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The 1969 SEA Game Opening Ceremony in Rangoon

Myanmar has hosted the Southeast Asian Games twice: in 2013, and in 1969 when they were called the Southeast Asian Peninsula Games (SEAP). The photograph is from the 1969 Rangoon opening ceremony.

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Announcement for Switching Driving Lanes 1970

On 7 December 1970, Myanmar switches to right lane drive. (But the cars stay the same).  (Photo credit: Renaud Egreteau)

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Cyclone Nargis

On 2 May 2008, more than 125,000 men, women, and children lost their lives as Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy delta. It should always be remembered as one of the most tragic events in Myanmar history. The combination of government restrictions (primarily the first two weeks) and Western sanctions meant survivors received only a tiny fraction of the help they needed and deserved. Many of the poorest families that were affected have still not recovered. But the immediate aftermath of...

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When the World Becomes 4 Degree Celsius Warmer

The world is now one degree Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels. All leading scientists agree that 1.5 degrees will be the tipping point. Without urgent and drastic action by the biggest economies, the planet will reach that tipping point by 2030. And without massive shifts in policy, the world will then be on track for a 3-5 degree increase in temperature by 2100. As the map makes clear, the consequences for Myanmar will be catastrophic. Even if this scenario is...

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