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Better relations with Myanmar is welcome change

By Michael Aung-Thwin

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2012

~~<p>There's been much recently in the media about President Barack Obama's visit to Myanmar. Suddenly, after being on page 15 (if at all) in most newspapers for the past 22 years &mdash; and then only if Suu Kyi did something, however minor &mdash; Myanmar (still called by the colonial name Burma given to it by Great Britain) is on or around the front pages. There are even accounts of Aung San Suu Kyi's piano tuner on some national news outlets.</p>
<p>Most opinions applaud the visit for a variety of reasons, some object, but none has anything to do with Burmese needs, priorities or perspectives. Rather they have to do with ours. It is no accident that nearly every article employs the word &quot;isolated&quot; when referring to the country, and from that premise arises many conclusions that I'll get to below. Actually, other than about 12 years during the Ne Win regime under the &quot;Burmese Way to Socialism&quot; (1962-1974) when the country was &quot;house cleaning,&quot; Myanmar was certainly not isolated from the superpowers of the region: India, China and Japan.</p>
~~

There's been much recently in the media about President Barack Obama's visit to Myanmar. Suddenly, after being on page 15 (if at all) in most newspapers for the past 22 years — and then only if Suu Kyi did something, however minor — Myanmar (still called by the colonial name Burma given to it by Great Britain) is on or around the front pages. There are even accounts of Aung San Suu Kyi's piano tuner on some national news outlets.

Most opinions applaud the visit for a variety of reasons, some object, but none has anything to do with Burmese needs, priorities or perspectives. Rather they have to do with ours. It is no accident that nearly every article employs the word "isolated" when referring to the country, and from that premise arises many conclusions that I'll get to below. Actually, other than about 12 years during the Ne Win regime under the "Burmese Way to Socialism" (1962-1974) when the country was "house cleaning," Myanmar was certainly not isolated from the superpowers of the region: India, China and Japan. Login for more...



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