Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From Burma To A Country Called Myanmar

Burma was at a crossroads in the early 1990's. In retrospect, it was a point in time when its future might have dramatically changed.

A popular leader, Aung San Suu Kyi had been elected in a landslide and Burma should have experienced decades of progress and real change.

However, after voiding the landslide election of the opposition party nearly two decades ago, the military junta of Burma decided to change the name of the country as well.

So, what was once known as Burma would be called Myanmar. For the country, the name change just meant more of the same. For more than two decades, economic mis-management, government corruption and a disregard of basic human rights by the brutal military junta in Myanmar would leave the country far behind the rest of the world in economic development.

As a result, over the years, hundreds of thousands of people would flee the country because of the intolerable conditions. The fury of Hurricane Nargis would only add to the general misery while the United Nations would pass meaningless Resolutions that would be ignored by the ruling military junta.

The result of the military government's failure in Myanmar can be seen in the dire economic condition in that country today. Myanmar is one of the most undeveloped countries in the civilized world and its future prospects (Economic Monetary Fund report) are considered bleak.

There was a time back in the early 1990's when the country was at a crossroads and its sad future could have been changed. However, a legitimate democratic election was invalidated and all those subsequent United Nations Resolutions would be in vain.

From Burma to a country called Myanmar. It was far more than just a change of name.

For more about the problems in Myanmar, please read:
In Myanmar, “Its Not Power That Corrupts, But Fear”
The United Nation's Historic Failure In Myanmar
The Lady Of Myanmar Deserves More International Fame