Pragmatic engagement with Myanmar
Should the international community engage with the regime or isolate it further?
Last Modified: 19 May 2010 15:18 GMT

The military government of Myanmar has announced that it will hold elections this year, but it has not set a date.

Ahead of the elections, the main opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, decided not to participate and was forced to disband.

The international community is largely condemning the upcoming vote as lacking legitimacy, and accuses the government of ignoring proposals for a national dialogue involving all stakeholders.


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Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won the last elections in 1990, but it was prevented from assuming office.

She has remained under house arrest for at least 14 of the past 20 years.

Myanmar has been under sanctions for decades. Washington has traditionally had a "get tough" policy with the country, but the Obama administration has adopted a "pragmatic engagement" approach along with continued sanctions.

On Tuesday, Riz asks whether diplomatic efforts are failing, and if so, what is the best approach towards Myanmar?

Joining the programme are Zoya Phan, an exiled political activist from Myanmar, who escaped from the regime's ongoing war against the Karen ethnic group, and Justin Wintle, a British historian, reviewer, journalist and author of The Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi.

You can join the conversation. Call in with your questions and comments on Tuesday, May 17, at 1630GMT. Repeats can be seen at 2130GMT, and the next day at 0230GMT and 1130GMT.

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