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Is President Obama's visit to Myanmar premature?

Obama will be the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar, but a chorus of voices is urging him to wait for further reforms.
US President Barack Obama listens to Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi speak before a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House September 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama has announced that he will visit Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, on his tour of Southeast Asia at the end of this month. Obama will be the first sitting US president to visit the Southeast Asian nation.

The president’s visit will be the strongest endorsement from the international community since Myanmar’s government began a democratization process last year. But critics are calling the visit premature. Despite Sein’s reforms, which have minimized media censorship, strengthened local currency and initiated peace talks with rebel groups, much of Myanmar remains unchanged.


Along the Burma Road, China navigates path to energy security

Special Report: The Burma Road serves as the gateway between Myanmar and the rising empire on its border. It is the central trade route feeding China’s voracious appetite for the resources — including energy, natural resources and food — it desperately needs to sustain its population of 1 billion people. Here China’s pervasive presence, its sophisticated exertion of soft power, is evident at every turn.

Clinton: Myanmar's generals watched 'The West Wing' (VIDEO)

Myanmar's former generals watched "The West Wing' TV series for tips on democracy, according to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
West wing myanmar Enlarge
The cast of 'The West Wing' winner of the Best Television Series-Drama at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California, Sunday January 21, 2001. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Myanmar's former generals watched "The West Wing' TV series for tips on democracy.

In-depth series: Gold Rush to Myanmar

In two short years, a reform movement led by ex-generals has transformed a junta-run backwater into Asia’s new investment attraction. But there's a catch. Yangon is no ready-made Shanghai. Long neglected, the country's infrastructure leaves much to be desired. And many of the resources that make Myanmar so compelling in the first place, lie in the jungle under the careful watch of guerrilla fighters. Still, the companies have come, and the money is flowing. Cue the gold rush. GlobalPost's Patrick Winn investigates.

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Buddhist monks in Myanmar come out against Muslim minority

Muslims are being persecuted for their religion and ethnicity in supposedly-relaxing Myanmar - and surprisingly, Buddhist monks appear to be leading the discriminatory charge, reported the Independent.

US companies get the green light to pursue an exciting new market in Asia

American companies have finally got the green-light to invest in resource-rich Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi returns to Myanmar after European tour

While on her tour of Europe, Suu Kyi visited France, Switzerland, Norway, Britain and Ireland.
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