Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 12:21 UK

Should it be Burma or Myanmar?

WHO, WHAT, WHY?
The Magazine answers...

Protesters in Philippines
'Burma' to the pro-democracy camp

Protest marches in Burma have entered a ninth day. But why is the country not known in the UK by its official name, Myanmar?

The eyes of the world's media are focused on Rangoon, where tensions are rising in the streets, yet news organisations and nations differ in what they call the country.

The ruling military junta changed its name from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, a year after thousands were killed in the suppression of a popular uprising. Rangoon also became Yangon.

THE ANSWER
It's known as Myanmar in many countries and at the UN
But the UK doesn't recognise the legitimacy of the regime that changed the name

The Adaptation of Expression Law also introduced English language names for other towns, some of which were not ethnically Burmese.

The change was recognised by the United Nations, and by countries such as France and Japan, but not by the United States and the UK.

A statement by the Foreign Office says: "Burma's democracy movement prefers the form 'Burma' because they do not accept the legitimacy of the unelected military regime to change the official name of the country. Internationally, both names are recognised."

It's general practice at the BBC to refer to the country as Burma, and the BBC News website says this is because most of its audience is familiar with that name rather than Myanmar. The same goes for Rangoon, people in general are more familiar with this name than Yangon.

But look in a Lonely Planet guidebook to Asia and the country can be found listed after Mongolia, not Brunei. The Rough Guide does not cover Burma at all, because the pro-democracy movement has called for a tourism boycott.

HOW IS MYANMAR PRONOUNCED?
There are various ways
'My' may be 'mee