Myanmar opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to supporters on Saturday. Voting in parliamentary elections this Sunday is considered a test of the political reforms that Myanmar's rulers have introduced over the past year.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown selects two pieces of writing profiling individuals at the center of political change in their respective countries.
Supporters greet Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, atop her vehicle, as she arrives at an election campaign rally in Thongwa village, Myanmar, on Sunday. The country's new government is holding legislative elections on April 1.
Once an international pariah ruled by a repressive military regime, Myanmar has in recent months become one of Southeast Asia's hottest destinations.
Last year, a nominally civilian government took over and began political changes in the country also known as Burma. Now, foreign investors and tourists are flooding in, and foreign governments are considering lifting their sanctions.
The military-backed government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has surprised many skeptics with the pace of its political reforms — releasing political prisoners, easing censorship and making peace with ethnic insurgents.
But none of these reforms have won it as much praise as its efforts to mend fences with opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. After nearly two decades under house arrest, Suu Kyi is now aiming to work for democracy within the system by running for a seat in parliament.
Mitch McConnell, the senate Republican leader from Kentucky, was the original author of the United States' sanctions on Myanmar.
So these last six months have been astounding for him. Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, has gone through an amazing transformation. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's leading opposition figure, has announced she will seek public office and the U.S. has reestablished diplomatic ties with Myanmar.