(Image: AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

As far as Australia's troubled neighbours go, it doesn’t get much more fraught than Myanmar. The nation, formerly known as Burma, is in the midst of a very difficult transition from half a century of military dictatorship to some form of democracy.

Internal armed conflict continues apace, with a major self-inflicted refugee crisis on its border. The economy is struggling, poverty is rife, and the country continues to be one of the world’s largest producers of narcotics.