Asia-Pacific

Jan 16, 2012

Burma, the outcast, on the long road to reform

The Burmese military-derived government has released hundreds of political prisoners, signed a ceasefire with the country’s largest ethnic rebel group and allowed the opposition National League for Democracy to re-form.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

There is a quickly developing sense that Burma, long an outcast in the international community, has begun a serious process of reform. It is as though the Burmese opposition, and the world behind it, are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, where a hostage comes to love the hostage taker following a small sign of kindness.

Burma’s human rights record over the past five decades has consistently been among the worst in the world. It is also one of the world’s biggest international drug suppliers.

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