Australia today announced that it is relaxing political sanctions against the country formerly known as Burma. The US and England will soon follow suit…all responding to growing political reforms after decades of military rule and political oppression. Meanwhile, crony capitalists that profited under the military regime are re-branding their images in an attempt to maintain their wealth and influence.
Here's a word of advice for those who might be considering visiting Myanmar: Hurry.
The rapid pace of political change in the past year — capped by the recent election to parliament of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi — has many tourists and foreign investors rushing to Myanmar, also known as Burma. And it's starting to get a little crowded.
Once an international pariah ruled by a repressive military regime, Myanmar has in recent months become one of Southeast Asia's hottest destinations.
Last year, a nominally civilian government took over and began political changes in the country also known as Burma. Now, foreign investors and tourists are flooding in, and foreign governments are considering lifting their sanctions.
The military-backed government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has surprised many skeptics with the pace of its political reforms — releasing political prisoners, easing censorship and making peace with ethnic insurgents.
But none of these reforms have won it as much praise as its efforts to mend fences with opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. After nearly two decades under house arrest, Suu Kyi is now aiming to work for democracy within the system by running for a seat in parliament.