Democratic Myanmar gets world leaders

May 28th, 2012 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Nay Pyi Taw, May 28 (IANS) Myanmar’s decision to embrace democracy is getting the once isolated nation plenty of VVIP visitors from around the world.

Manmohan Singh, who landed here Sunday, is only the latest in the list. He is the first Indian prime minister to visit Myanmar in 25 years.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came Nov 30 last year, the first visit by a top US official in over 50 years. John Foster Dulles had made a trip to Myanmar in 1955.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak touched down in Myanmar May 14 this year, making it the first trip by a South Korean leader in 29 years.

More recently, UN chief Ban Ki-moon came to Myanmar April 29. His previous trip was in 2009.

David Cameron was in Myanmar in April this year, the first serving British prime minister to visit Myanmar after its independence in 1948.

Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra came to Myanmar for a day in October 2011.

As long as the military junta ruled Myanmar, the international community, mainly the West, kept a safe distance from the regime.

Things began to change when the military rulers decided to accept democracy, even if only reluctantly.

(Rahul Dass can be contacted at rahul.d@ians.in)

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