Burma

David Pilling

“I almost left the country thinking they’re moving a little too fast. I never thought I would say that about Myanmar.”

Those are the words of Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s deputy foreign minister, after a trip this week to Burma, which the Norwegians call by its official name of Myanmar. Mr Barth Eide said that political reformers in the country “have the upper hand” and were moving quickly to try to consolidate their position before there was a counter-offensive from hardliners. “The danger is not that it’s not sincere,” he said of the push to open up the political process, “but that the counter forces will set in.” Read more

David Pilling

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi on August 14, 2011. Getty Images.

There are some strange things going on in Burma, the country renamed Myanmar by the generals who have ruled it since 1962. On Sunday, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to her home after leaving Rangoon, the former capital, for the first time since she was released from seven years of house arrest in November.

The 66-year-old Nobel prize winner opened a library, donated food to some flood victims, and made a couple of speeches to several hundred supporters in which she asked for their patience. Read more