After decades of tight control by the military, Myanmar is opening up. Supporters of Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi campaigned openly during the run-up to the April 1 election, in which her party won 43 of the 45 contested seats.
Michael Sullivan made many trips to Myanmar, also known as Burma, when he was NPR's correspondent for Southeast Asia. He recently returned, and found a country changing at a dizzying pace.
I get off the plane and almost immediately feel like I've come to the wrong country. There's a large blue sign at immigration that reads: "Attention journalists covering the by-election: please register at the Media Counter."
"Media Counter"? My kind has never been welcome here.
A man holds a portrait of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally for a candidate of her National League for Democracy party on Friday. The country is holding elections for some parliamentary seats on Sunday.
In Myanmar's capital, Yangon, there's an unremarkable old building that's drawing people from around the world.
It's the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, the political opposition party headed by pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This weekend, she is running for elective office for the first time, and the humble house has become the focus of even greater attention.
Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supporters in Myitkyina on Feb. 24.
Credit Soe Than Win / AFP/Getty Images
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi says the run up to Sunday's election for a few parliament seats in Myanmar, also known as Burma, have been marred by voting irregularities and reports of intimidation. She says that means the election process is neither free nor fair.
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.