Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma.In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country.
The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well.
However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics.
Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources.
This indicates some form of communication between groups in Myanmar and other places, possibly through trade.
Around the second century BC the first-known city-states emerged in central Myanmar.