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Having spent a couple of weeks in Myanmar/Burma earlier this year this very much agreed with my experiences with the one exception that there does indeed seem to be a banking system, very limited and completely cut off from any external financial institutions though it may be. I’m not sure how they work (or perhaps don’t work) for the Burmese, but there are banks in the country. In fact a new one is being built at this very moment in the town of Nyaung Shwe close to Inle Lake with adding to the (at least) one other already there.
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I agree with most of Prof Fukuyama’s comment about the conditions in Burma but I beg to differ with him on his comments that Burma does not need more democracy activists. It does need a whole lot more because the momentum of the reform towards democracy need to be kept up, as well as to be strengthened further to keep up the momentum of change towards liberalizing the country until the nation has achieved genuine democracy. Although the country has a powerful leader of democracy in Aung San Suu Kyi there are many democratic forces and parties, ethnic parties who have not come together to form a strong and powerful democratic front to balance the powerful pro-military government. In short the momentum must not be let up at all. I do agree to his view that Burma needs help with the economy which is evident even to the lay person. MTP
Private sector development through public sector reform assumes both development and rules (laws or authoritarian government). Can Myanmar continue development cited in essay without refined model of accountability or rule of law? You have asked “what is governance” – Myanmar with its incredible needs in every sphere may provide case model.
Totally agree with his comment. Very true reflecting over all political landscape of the country.
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I would be interested to hear some further thoughts on the type of research activities that would need to be performed prior to more vested U.S. interest in Myanmar, particularly in the key areas of roads and education mentioned in the discussion.