The government of Myanmar (Burma) has been doing something odd lately. They’ve released a number of prisoners of conscience over the last few weeks, whose existence was previously denied by the regime. It has been suggested that political prisoners may be released in batches to gauge Western responses to the move. The fact that some political prisoners are being released is a huge eye opener given that Myanmar once had the most repressive government this side of North Korea.
The new government has sought to forge a degree of trust among the government and Suu Kyi- the most influential opposition figure in Burmese politics. They’ve also agreed to stop censorship and may agree to look at the electoral system reform that could clear Suu Kyis’ National League for Democracy to run for office. Source: http://www.economist.com/node/21532305.
The West has been faked out by the Myanmar government before, so the West would be wise to not wet themselves over this recent turn of seeming goodwill. Lets wait till all the prisoners are released, censorship is repealed for a meaningful period of time, and these little things called democratic elections occur and the results are respected, before we go removing sanctions and opening the doors to the new tastes great less filling Myanmar government. Lots of things sound good here, but we’ve been burned by the tantalizing flame of Myanmar democracy before.