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Archive for the tag “Thein Sein”

Myanmar’s Looking West. What’s China Got To Say?

Thein Sein often mentions that the aim of Myanmar’s foreign policy is to live peacefully with the rest of the world. Who would disagree with this vague formulation? But in more specific terms, Myanmar’s current foreign policy can be best termed “Look West”—similar to India’s “Look East” and the AmericanPivot toward Asia.”

Read Here – The Diplomat

Burma Has Far To Go

An iron law of effective diplomacy is that if you make public demands, your credibility depends on sticking to them. European Union foreign ministers saw fit to ignore that lesson yesterday when they formally lifted all sanctions on Burma except an arms embargo. Last year, the same ministers said this step would only be taken if President Thein Sein’s regime met four conditions. He would have to release all political prisoners, allow the delivery of aid throughout Burma, resolve the country’s remaining ethnic insurgencies, and improve the “status” and “welfare” of the Muslim minority, known as the Rohingyas.

Read Here – The Telegraph, London

Time to Take Off the Kid Gloves With Myanmar

In its rush to fete Myanmar‘s president, Thein Sein, and capitalize on the country’s tentative opening, the international community has turned a blind eye toward the ongoing repression of minorities and the continued political dominance of the military. In doing so, it has given up much of its leverage over Sein at the very time when it should be pushing for clearer commitments to reconciliation and democracy.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Unruly Lines

THE border between Yunnan province and northern Myanmar (formerly Burma) has always been porous. To the people who live in the region, the border is a crooked mark on other people’s maps, an arbitrary boundary snaking its way 2,400 kilometres through rugged and wild terrain. The authorities in Beijing have seen the same land as a lawless borderland, a place to be controlled.

Read Here – The Economist

More War Than Peace In Myanmar

Helicopter gunships hover in the sky above a battlefield. The constant sound of explosions and gunfire pierce the night for an estimated 100,000 refugees and internally displaced people. Military hospitals are full of wounded government soldiers, while bridges, communication lines and other crucial infrastructure lie in war-torn ruins.

The images and sounds on the ground in Myanmar‘s northern Kachin State shatter the impression of peace, reconciliation and a steady march towards democracy that President Thein Sein‘s government has bid to convey to the outside world. In reality, the situation in this remote corner of one of Asia’s historically most troubled nations is depressingly normal.


Read Here – Asian Times


Top Global Thinkers – Men and Women Who Shape Ideas

The backlash after the heady Arab revolutions of 2011. The rumblings of war with nuclear-aspiring Iran. The bloody persistence of Bashar al-Assad in civil war-torn Syria. Not to mention a Europe mired in its biggest crisis since World War II and an American presidential campaign that distracted and depressed in equal measure. If ever there were a year for Big Ideas, and a frustration at not hearing them from our leaders, 2012 was it.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Obama Offers Praise, Pressure On Historic Myanmar Trip

Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Myanmar on Monday, using a six-hour trip to balance U.S. praise for the government’s progress in shaking off military rule with pressure to complete the process of democratic reform.

Obama, greeted by enthusiastic crowds in the former capital, Yangon, met President Thein Sein, a former junta member who has spearheaded reforms since taking office in March 2011, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I shared with President Thein Sein our belief that the process of reform that he is taking is one that will move this country forward,” Obama told reporters, with Thein Sein at his side.

Read Here – Reuters

Why Washington’s Love Affair With Myanmar Might Be Too Much, Too Soon.

When he arrives in Myanmar, President Barack Obama will mark a historic occasion. Not only will it be the first time a sitting American president has visited the country, the trip also represents the final step in Myanmar’s remarkable rehabilitation from international pariah status. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made a point of ignoring the previous leaders of Myanmar (then known as Burma), almost all of whom were blacklisted from entering the United States. In 2005, the Bush administration began calling the country an “outpost of tyranny,” while Bush’s wife, the first lady, made change in Burma one of the highest-profile issues on her personal agenda.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Myanmar Still Suffers From Religious Strife

President Barack Obama will visit Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) later this month and meet President Thein Sein, who is trying to steer the country toward democracy. Yet sectarian strife could still deal a setback to the government’s significant political, economic, and social reforms that have been made since the democratic transition began in 2011.

Read Here – Businesweek

Obama Asia Trip to Mark First Myanmar Stop by U.S. President

President Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar, one of three stops on a Southeast Asia trip this month.

Obama will meet with President Thein Sein and opposition leader and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon, Myanmar, as part of U.S. efforts to encourage the transition to democracy in the country, formerly known as Burma.

Read Here – Bloomberg

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