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Aung San Suu Kyi

December 3, 2011 | By Clifford Coonan and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi praised Washington's newly declared support for her country's recent political reforms, but she emphasized the importance of remaining on good terms with the nation's powerful longtime patron, China. After a meeting Friday that capped Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's landmark visit, Suu Kyi said that, with U.S. backing, "I am confident that there will be no turning back from the road toward democracy. " Speaking to journalists on the porch of the lakeside house where she was detained by the government for 15 years, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate also underscored that Myanmar wanted to maintain "good, friendly relations with China, our very close neighbor, and not just with China but the rest of the world.
December 2, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey / Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If "The Lady" is any indication, Luc Besson, the Paris-born filmmaker behind such testosterone-fueled thrillers as "Taken," "Transporter 2" and "The Fifth Element," is having a tough time getting in touch with his feminine side. Yes, there was his recent script for "Colombiana," but at least as portrayed by Zoe Saldana, that was one tough chick. "The Lady," on the other hand, required both elegance and eloquence in telling the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, whose efforts earned her a Nobel Prize.
December 2, 2011 | By Clifford Coonan and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
On a landmark visit to Myanmar, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday said the U.S. would ease aid restrictions and consider further steps to improving relations with the country's autocratic rulers if they continued down a path of political and economic reform. Clinton described her meeting with Thein Sein, Myanmar's president, as "candid, productive," but cautioned that while the "measures already taken may be unprecedented and welcomed, they are just the beginning.
November 30, 2011 | By Mark Magnier and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday for a landmark three-day visit to the long-isolated nation focused on encouraging further political reforms, assessing recent progress and providing a road map for forging closer ties with the United States and Europe. But the highest priority of a meeting with Myanmar's foreign minister, according to a senior State Department official traveling with Clinton, will be to seek assurances that the Southeast Asian nation will halt purchases of missile technology from renegade North Korea.
November 30, 2011 | By Paul Richter and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's impending visit to Myanmar represents a dramatic shift in policy toward a state infamous for repression, an opening that demonstrates a new U.S. focus on Asia by building ties to a strategically important country bordering China. When she arrives Wednesday for a three-day visit, Clinton will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Burma — as the country long was known — since generals seized power in 1962 and largely closed it to the outside world.
November 18, 2011 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
President Obama's decision to send Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on a groundbreaking trip to long-isolated Myanmar next month signals U.S. confidence in a recent flurry of political reforms by the repressive regime that has ruled the country for five decades. For three months, administration officials have hailed signs of democratic change but questioned the motives of the ruling military elite, which has jailed its opponents and engaged in human rights abuses to maintain political control of the resource-rich but impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
November 17, 2011 | By Peter Nicholas and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
President Obama announced Friday that he is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Myanmar next month, citing progress made by the government in releasing political prisoners, loosening media restrictions and opening its repressive political system. Obama, in a brief statement during a series of summit meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said Clinton will be the first secretary of State to visit the country in half a century and will make the case that Myanmar's leaders must keep moving toward a more open, democratic government.
October 26, 2011 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration was encouraged by Myanmar's recent release of some prisoners under a "humanitarian" amnesty but wants to see more reforms before the U.S. considers lifting economic sanctions on the impoverished nation, officials say. The military government in the Southeast Asian nation has appeared more flexible with political opponents in major cities, but violence has continued against ethnic minorities in the rural north and east, Derek...
October 11, 2011 | By Mark Magnier and Simon Roughneen, Los Angeles Times
Myanmar announced plans Tuesday to release more than 6,300 prisoners in the latest of several modest reform steps taken by the long-isolated nation, although it wasn't immediately clear how many of those to be freed are political detainees. Human rights groups, dissident organizations and analysts welcomed the move, but said they remained skeptical that a fundamental change was underway. The military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma, has ruled the country with an iron fist for decades.
October 1, 2011 | By Mark Magnier and Simon Roughneen, Los Angeles Times
Myanmar's president ordered a halt Friday to work on a controversial $3.6-billion hydroelectric dam backed by China, a rare concession to the political opposition and public displeasure. President Thein Sein said in a statement read out on his behalf in parliament that the Myitsone dam project in the northern state of Kachin should be terminated because it is "against the will of the people. " The reversal — if in fact it proves to be one, given Myanmar's often opaque governance — seemed somewhat surprising in a country where leaders have for decades paid limited attention to the public's concerns.
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