impoverishment of a rich and fertile agrarian state that was once the largest exporter of rice in the world.Demonstrations and protests against the regime are brutally put down, though the military is unable tocompletely curtail the tribal separatists and communist insurgents.
- Ne Wins visits China, where he not only manages to convince his hosts to stop supporting insurgentsfrom the Communist Party of Burma but also restores relations between the two countries after they had beendamaged by anti-Chinese riots in Burma that had been partly inspired by Ne Win himself.
- On 20 April Ne Win and 20 of his army colleagues resign their military posts and form a civiliangovernment.
- On 3 January a new constitution transfers power from the Revolutionary Council to a single-party'People's Assembly' composed of Ne Win and the other former military leaders within the BSPP. Thecountry's name is changed from Burma to the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. Ne Win becomes president and prime minister. On 11 December, after food shortages have provoked riots, the regime declaresmartial law.
- Following an unsuccessful coup attempt, Ne Win dismisses the army's increasingly popular commander-in-chief and has him imprisoned for his alleged involvement in the plot.
- Ne Win visits Phom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, on 26 November, becoming the first foreign headof state to visit the country since its takeover by the Khmer Rouge in April 1975.
- Towards the end of the year, Ne Win unexpectedly relinquishes the presidency to San Yu, a retiredgeneral, but continues to wield power as the chairman of the BSPP.
- Ne Win orders another purge of the armed forces, with all senior intelligence officers being dismissed.The new chief of military intelligence, Khin Nyunt, is hand-picked by Ne Win.Over the following years Ne Win will continue to oversee the promotion of key military officers. In 1985 SawMaung is made commander-in-chief of the armed forces and Than Shwe is promoted to deputy commander-in-chief and deputy defence minister.
- The United Nations (UN) designates Burma a 'Least Developed Nation', officially recognising the once prosperous country as one of the 10 poorest nations in the world. On 10 August Ne Win admits in a televised broadcast that mistakes have been made during his 25-year dictatorship and suggests that the constitutionmay be changed "in order to keep abreast with the times."
- In March Aung San Suu Kyi, Aung San's daughter, returns to Burma from an extended period overseasto nurse her dying mother.Meanwhile, student-led protests against the military regime break out in Rangoon in March and June. The protests are triggered by Ne Win's decision to reissue bank notes in denominations divisible by the number nine. Ne Win, who is obsessed with mysticism and numerology, considers nine to be a particularly auspiciousnumber. His decision wipes out the value of most people's savings without warning or compensation.The regime responds to the protests with force but looses its grip on power when Ne Win steps down as BSPPchairman on 23 July.Ominously, in his last public address before leaving office, Ne Win warns, "If in the future there are mob
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