Thursday, 10 March 2011
Some light reading.
“As Myanmar enters a new political phase and General Than Shwe hands over power to the next generation of leaders, there is a critical window of opportunity to encourage greater openness and reform. Unfortunately, this opportunity is likely to be squandered.
A small number of influential countries place a higher priority on appearing“tough” on the Myanmar issue, rather than on being effective – satisfying unrepresentative domestic lobby groups at the expense of developing sound policies.
Continuing the same old approach will reinforce longstanding suspicions among the country’s leaders about the intentions of the West. On the ground, much is changing, but the Myanmar government is unlikely to break quickly or dramatically with 50 years of authoritarianism, and will give ample reasons for Western policymakers to justify a hardline approach. The result will be continued deadlock, which will be to the detriment of the Myanmar people, and to Western interests in the country. Now is the moment for a new approach.”