[QODLink]
Inside Story
Myanmar's future challenges
Are recent moves by the military government a precursor to long-awaited democratic reforms?
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2011 10:23

It is something many expected never to see, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, setting foot in Myanmar. It is the first visit by a US secretary of state in more than 50 years.

Barak Obama, the US president, said he sanctioned the visit - because of what he described as "flickers of progress" by Myanmar's new leadership.

Recent reforms in the country - the release of some political prisoners, the easing of press restrictions and the lifting of a ban on trade unions - have surprised many observers.

Analysts say Clinton's trip comes at the time when the US is turning its focus to Asia, a move that is widely seen as an effort to counter Chinese influence in the region.

In this show we ask: Will Clinton's trip encourage Myanmar's rulers to continue down the path of democracy? Do the reforms in the long-isolated country indicate a real willingness to change or are they just window dressing? What are the challenges ahead?

Inside Story with presenter James Bays discusses with guests: Maung Zarni, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics; Richard Weitz, a Senior Fellow and the director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute; and Maitrii Aung-Thwin, an assistant professor of Southeast Asian History at the National University of Singapore.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list