Myanmar's Timeline

A chronology of key events of Burma or Myanmar (1057 -2001)

1057 - King Anawrahta founds the first unified Burmese state at Pagan and adopts Theravada Buddhism.

1287 - Mongols under Kublai Khan conquer Pagan.

1531 - Toungoo dynasty, with Portuguese help, reunites Burma.

1755 - Alaungpaya founds the Konbaung dynasty with Rangoon as its capital.

Anglo-Burmese wars

1824-26 - First Anglo-Burmese war ends with the Treaty of Yandabo, according to which Burma ceded the Arakan coastal strip, between Chittagong and Cape Negrais, to British India.

1852 - Britain annexes lower Burma, including Rangoon, following the second Anglo-Burmese war.

1885-86 - Britain captures Mandalay after a brief battle; Burma becomes a province of British India.

1937 - Britain separates Burma from India and makes it a crown colony.
Japanese occupation

1942 - Japan invades and occupies Burma with some help from the Japanese-trained Burma Independence Army, which later transforms itself into the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL) and resists Japanese rule.

1945 - Britain liberates Burma from Japanese occupation with help from the AFPFL, led by Aung San.

1947 - Aung San and six members of his interim government assassinated by political opponents led by U Saw, a nationalist rival of Aung San's. U Nu, foreign minister in Ba Maw's government, which ruled Burma during the Japanese occupation, asked to head the AFPFL and the government.

1948 - Burma becomes independent with U Nu as prime minister.

Mid-1950s - U Nu, together with Indian Prime Minister Nehru, Indonesian President Sukarno, Yugoslav President Tito and Egyptian President Nasser co-found the Movement of Non-Aligned States.

1958-60 - Caretaker government, led by army Chief of Staff General Ne Win, formed following a split in the ruling AFPFL party.

1960 - U Nu's party faction wins decisive victory in elections, but his promotion of Buddhism as the state religion and his tolerance of separatism angers the military.

One-party, military-led state

1962 - U Nu's faction ousted in military coup led by Gen Ne Win, who abolishes the federal system and inaugurates "the Burmese Way to Socialism"- nationalising the economy, forming a single-party state with the Socialist Programme Party as the sole political party, and banning independent newspapers.

1975 - Opposition National Democratic Front formed by regionally-based minority groups, who mounted guerrilla insurgencies.

1981 - Ne Win relinquishes the presidency to San Yu, a retired general, but continues as chairman of the ruling Socialist Programme Party.

1982 - Law designating people of non-indigenous background as "associate citizens" in effect bars such people from public office.

Riots and repression

1987 - Currency devaluation wipes out many people's savings and triggers anti-government riots.

1988 - Thousands of people are killed in anti-government riots. The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) is formed.

1989 - Slorc declares martial law, arrests thousands of people, including advocates of democracy and human rights, renames Burma Myanmar, with the capital, Rangoon, becoming Yangon.

Thwarted elections

1990 - Opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) wins landslide victory in general election, but the result is ignored by the military; NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Aung San, is put under house arrest.

1991 - Aung San Suu Kyi awarded Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to peaceful change.

1992 - Than Shwe replaces Saw Maung as SLORC chairman, prime minister and defence minister. Several political prisoners freed in bid to improve Burma's international image.

1996 - Aung San Suu Kyi attends first NLD congress since her release; Slorc arrests more than 200 delegates on their way to party congress.

1997 - Burma admitted to Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean); Slorc renamed State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

1998 - Three hundred NLD members released from prison, but SPDC refuses to comply with NLD deadline for convening of parliament, ignores pro-democracy roadside protests by Aung San Suu Kyi and breaks up student demonstrations.

1999 - Aung San Suu Kyi rejects SPDC conditions to visit her British husband, Michael Aris, who dies of cancer in UK.

2000 September - SPDC lifts restrictions limiting the movements of Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the NLD.

2000 December - Amnesty International reports that torture is increasing in Burma despite official military statements that it is illegal.

2001 January - SPDC releases 84 NLD activists.

2001 February - Burmese army and Shan rebels clash on Thai border; Burmese authorities agree to abandon the construction of a controversial dam on the Naf river between the two countries.

2001 June - Government frees several pro-democracy activists, saying the releases reflect progress in landmark talks with opposition NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Several opposition party offices are allowed to reopen.

2001 June - Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra makes a two-day visit to Burma and hails it as a success, saying relations between the two countries are now back on track. His aim is to patch up disagreements over drugs and smouldering border tensions.