YANGON, Myanmar -- After almost five decades of military rule, having a democratic government is a dream no more. But the road ahead will be truly bumpy and tricky.
A Tortoise Revolution is underway in Myanmar, progressing so slowly and steadily -- you can barely notice it. But it's there. Five years ago it was too dangerous to even utter the word "democracy" in public.
YANGON, Myanmar -- If Suu Kyi's ascent is perceived as too threatening, there is greater risk that the military will continue to exploit anti-Muslim hostility in order to destabilize the post-election climate. And despite her numerous pro-democracy accolades, Suu Kyi has refused to speak in defense of the Rohingya Muslims and recently warned foreign media not to "exaggerate" their plight.
The smiling faces of Burmese voters demonstrate an exuberant nation prepared for a new era of democracy and political freedom. The smiling faces of Burmese voters, however, also hide the tragic reality for many in Myanmar -- the continued exclusion and persecution of Muslims, especially the Rohingya people.
Burma now has a hybrid system of military rule and democracy. It's democracy on a leash. The victims of human rights abuses can't wait for a hoped slow transition. They need genuine democracy, and they need it now. For them it is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. It isn't time to celebrate yet.
Trying to predict the outcome of the election has been deemed by at least one Myanmar-based media outlet as "lunacy," however, three scenarios are emerging as the most likely outcomes of November 8.
The US government is paying money to strategically 'advise and support' Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC), which is disqualifying Muslim parliamentarians, striking Muslims from the ballot in next week's parliamentary elections, and even blocking their right to vote.
The meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Obama made for a nice photo op for two Nobel Prize winners, but as Burma goes into election mode in late 2015, progress has been made on none of these promises and hopes.
All is not silent in Burma. There's malaria. Drug-resistant malaria, to be exact. It's the other silent struggle, and very few are talking about it.
If just one Rohingya is recruited by ISIS, Myanmar's internal sectarian crisis and regional refugee crisis will only get worse.
The Rohingya have been described as "the most persecuted minority in the world" by the United Nations. The following is based on extensive interviews ...
In what some thought could be a game-changer to Myanmar's political landscape, several constitutional amendments were voted down in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, or Union parliament, on June 25.
Should we pronounce the UN a failure, or perhaps give it a ceremonial gold watch and retire it? The UN and its adjunct organs and agencies have made much progress, before the 50th Anniversary, but also since.
At 70, "The Lady" remains the leading voice for democracy in this strategic part of the world. Much depends on how she uses that voice from now on. The fall election will be the first relatively free ballot in 25 years -- and she needs every vote she can get to reduce the military's grip on the government.
Forget the world. She should try starting at home, with the Rohingya of Rakhine. And if she won't, or can't, then maybe she should consider handing back the prize she waited more than two decades to collect.
We need to remind the younger officials and leaders in the recipient countries that this has happened before and that pushing new or potential arrivals away from their shores condemns them almost certainly to death or imposes severe risks to their health and well-being.