MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama’s first visit to Myanmar in 2012 was a celebration of the nation’s historic shift from military rule. But as Obama returns this week, optimism over economic and political reforms has faded. Revered opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) has questioned what’s been accomplished in the past two years.
The answer is mixed.
On the eve of Obama’s first visit, Myanmar President Thein Sein made 11 policy pledges. The quasi-civilian government has progressed on some counts, but there are deep problems on others.
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The pledges don’t touch on the now-burning issue of the military’s role in politics ahead of elections next year, but they address key human rights concerns, the arms trade with North Korea and anti-Muslim violence.