[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
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list