AP Article: Burma Reforms: Long Way to Go to Change Power Imbalance

Article by by  | 02 Nov 2015

Burma citizens are experiencing an unprecedented degree of economic and political freedom, but the balance of power has changed little.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ad5147753401412fac8d88324b610952/myanmar-reforms-have-long-way-go-change-power-balance

RANGOON — The sweeping reforms Burma announced in 2011 after a half-century of crushing military rule seemed too good to be true to much of the outside world. And to some degree, they were.

Burmese citizens are experiencing an unprecedented degree of economic and political freedom, but the balance of power has changed little. Most of those in charge are former military men who have just swapped their khakis for suits and longyi—the sarong-type skirt traditionally favored by both men and women in Burma.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whom the junta kept under house arrest for years, now tours the country stumping for votes. But even if her National League for Democracy wins the Nov. 8 election in a landslide, the odds are that the generals and their cronies will continue to dominate both politics and the economy.

Many familiar with Burma’s government say that while it has made significant reforms in the past five years, it still faces a long journey to achieve a stable, prosperous democracy.

“This is a huge improvement and we have to keep it in context for what it is,” said Daniel Aguirre, legal adviser in Rangoon for the International Commission of Jurists. But he adds, “The prevailing narrative of ‘open for business and everything’s fine’ is completely, way off.”

For the full article see: http://bit.ly/20pRFF2

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