Thursday, November 13, 2014

Obama and Clinton in Buddhist Burma (photos)

Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;;, 11-13-14
How can I avoid all the traffic from the imperial leader's visit? Golden stupa sits atop the Buddha's enshrined relics, Shwedagon Pagoda (Rohit_saxena/
Barefoot Pres. Obama and former U.S. Sec'y of State Hillary Clinton tour Theravada Buddhist Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, Burma renamed "Myanmar" by dictator (AP/Carolyn Kaster).
Aung San Suu Kyi welcomes Obama, whose historic visit is meant to show U.S. support for Burma's transition to [the appearance of] democracy. The White House has cautioned that Obama's trip to the former pariah state should not be viewed as a "victory celebration" but as an opportunity to press for urgent action still needed -- such as freeing political prisoners and ending ethnic tension in remote areas (EPA/Khin Maung Win).
Burmese reforms: Obama "confident" of change
edited by Wisdom Quarterly
Can you ask the dictator if he'll sell us the forests? - He doesn't want to hear it. Will you pay more than China is offering us? And will you also buy our blood gems? Package deal or no deal, and we want arms, weapons, bombs, jets. Pres. Obama and Pres. Sein at the regional parliament building in impoverished Rangoon for photo-op (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty).
Obama, watch out for this guy. - Ellen Page
U.S. Pres. Obama has said he is "optimistic" about the political transition process in Burma during a visit to the country -- but added that "change is hard." His comments came after a night-time meeting with Burmese Pres. Thein Sein.
Mr. Obama had earlier met Burmese lawmakers, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In an interview published on Wednesday, he had accused the government of backsliding on [nominal democratic] reforms. The U.S. president is in the military dictatorship's new bunker-dotted capital Nay Pyi Taw, relocated from Rangoon, for the East Asia summit.
Gen. Than Shwe, Burma's dictator.
Following the hour-long meeting with Pres. Sein, Obama said that "the democratic process in Myanmar is real" -- referring to the country by the dictatorship's name for Burma. "We recognize change is hard, and you do not always move in a straight line, but I'm optimistic," he added.
Pres. Sein, a former general hand selected by the military junta, the ruling dictators behind the scenes under General Than Shwe, whom many call the "Asian Hitler," said the talks had been candid, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Myanmar President Thein Sein (R) walks with US President Barack Obama at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 12 November 2014 In 2010, Burma held elections that replaced official military rule with a military-backed "civilian" government of former-general-turned-president Thein Sein [a man who apparently still does the bidding of Gen. Than Shwe]. More
Theravada Buddhist monks hold up Burmese and U.S. flags. Burma was a dictatorship for the past half century until last year when a nominally civilian government took office and stunned the world with a rapid rush toward reforms, largely an act (EPA/Nyein Chan Naing).

Students wave flags and try to force smiles as they wait to welcome the arrival of U.S. Pres. Obama at Rangoon International Airport in Burma, which is still a police state with a growing facade of democratic reforms (AP/Khin Maung Win).
Buddhist monks climb outside of massive main stupa, reliquary mound, Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, Burma (Touristing/
Stupa ruins in ancient Pagan/Bagan, Burma near Mandalay (Platongkohphoto/

Asian Hitler?
(US Campaign for Burma) Ellen Page: "Burma, it can't wait 19"

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