The international community must press the Burmese government to go further in its top-down program of democratic reform.
Whatever form the dialogue on constitutional change takes, what’s most important is that the discussion is substantive and its participants approach the matter genuinely.
As US President Barack Obama concludes his second visit to Burma, many in the pro-democracy movement slam his ringing endorsement of President Thein Sein.
Decades of military appointments to key positions in government have left Myanmar’s administrative apparatus in tatters.
The way Burma’s government handles the killing of journalist Aung Kyaw Naing by the military will be a telling indicator of its reformist credentials.
After investigating a secret business deal between Rangoon’s chief minister and two relatively unknown Chinese cronies, The Irrawaddy finds itself on a new “blacklist.”
In the past, when the opposition leader said something, world leaders listened, but these days Washington seems to have shifted its priorities.
To democracy advocates’ chagrin, Burma’s record of martial leadership is likely to continue through the next presidential election.
Burma’s political system is stacked against new faces, so a similar outcome to the Indonesian elections should not be expected next year.
If the international community wants to help achieve democracy, it will support independent journalists, not the “new and improved” state media.