Burma's President Thein Sein and ethnic armed groups recently endorsed a draft nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), which could bring an end to 60 years of ethnic conflict. The interim accord is the result of torturous negotiations over several years. However, the peace process is far from complete. Pressure on the parties is still needed for a final accord.
When he visited Washington, D.C. two years ago, Burma's new president was being hailed as an "Asian Gorbachev." America's capital rolled out the podiums and cocktail receptions because it appeared a "Burma Spring" was underway -- or at least a winter thaw. But has the former general turned out to be the reformer everyone hoped?
In Burma, if one were to mention "the election" on the street this morning, the listener would likely not conjure up concern for the productivity and potential of Obama's final two years holding office, but rather of the possibility of Aung San Suu Kyi holding it and being able to create durable and sustainable reconciliation in a divided nation.