Australia and the European Union use "Myanmar," although they've otherwise been in lockstep on policy with the U.S. and Britain, which use "Burma." Among rights groups, Amnesty International uses "Myanmar," but Human Rights Watch says "Burma." Among news media, The New York Times has used "Myanmar" since 1989; the main international news agencies including The Associated Press followed suit in 1998, but the BBC still sticks with "Burma." The Financial Times switched to "Myanmar" this January.
Even U.S. diplomats say they sometimes use "Myanmar" in private with government officials as a matter of courtesy. Ernie Bower, Southeast Asia program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said he believes the U.S. government is on the brink of switching its policy.
Not quite yet though. The White House said Thursday it is sticking with "Burma."
Associated Press writer Aye Aye Win in Yangon, Myanmar, contributed to this report.
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