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Treating Myanmar as a ‘normal’ country


Farrelly, N, Treating Myanmar as a normal' country, Human Rights Defender, 22, (2) pp. 24-26. ISSN 1039-2637 (2013) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

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For two short days in March 2013 a remarkable sight greeted commuters along Canberra’s stately boulevards. The flags of Myanmar and Australia fluttered proudly, side-by-side. This spectacle marked the visit of the Myanmar President, former general Thein Sein. His time in Canberra was punctuated by major announcements deepening bilateral ties between the two countries. Australian leaders, for so long motivated to criticise their Myanmar counterparts, expressed a warm desire for increasing trade, education, investment, security and cultural ties. Until recently, Myanmar remained a pariah in the eyes of most western democracies, including Australia. The policy conversation in Canberra was dominated by assessments of sanctions and the need for maintaining pressure on the military regime. Those who worked so hard to support democracy and human rights still occasionally find it difficult to accept that Thein Sein, who held senior positions in the old regime, including as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2011, is now being enthusiastically embraced from Brussels to Bangkok, New Delhi to New York, Wellington to Washington, and Sydney to Singapore.1 And it doesn’t help that some policies of the old military regime have persisted, even if the overall orientation of the government headed by Thein Sein is ostentatiously reformist.

Item Details

Item Type:Professional, Non Refereed Article
Keywords:Myanmar, democracy
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:145391
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-20
Last Modified:2021-07-20

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