Burma or Myanmar? What should Obama call it?


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's landmark visit to Myanmar, known by the U.S. as Burma, brings up an unusual problem of protocol: What does he call it?

If recent practice by visiting U.S. officials is any guide, Obama will sidestep the issue by using neither name Monday when he becomes the first sitting American president to visit the country.

The former ruling junta summarily changed the name 23 years ago without consulting the people. The change was opposed by democracy advocates, who stuck with "Burma."

As the country has opened up politically, the linguistic battle lines have blurred some.

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Myanmar last December, she mostly referred to it as "this country" and did the same this September when she met the nation's reformist president.

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