Few imagined Myanmar would embrace democracy when the U.S. began its historic engagement with the military regime. The country's rapid changes were lauded by visiting Western leaders, and the nation's president was hailed as a hero. But spasms of spreading, communal violence show the reform path is bumpier than expected and have taken the sheen off a foreign policy success of the Obama administration's first term.
President Obama will make history later this month by becoming the first U.S. president to visit the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, which after nearly five decades of military rule has shaken off its pariah status by taking tentative steps toward democratic reform.
Myanmar's military-backed government must release all political prisoners and stop violating the rights of ethnic minorities before it can expect normal relations with the United States, a top Obama administration official said Monday.
The Obama administration has decided to support the creation of a United Nations commission to look into purported crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.
The Obama administration slammed a decision by Burma’s ruling junta to hold the country’s first elections in two decades on Nov. 7, saying the vote will lack credibility.
Pro-democracy activists in Burma want the Obama administration to reject the military junta's plans to hold elections from which they have been shut out this year.