So far 2011 is proving to be an eventful year for Myanmar, formerly known as and still generally called Burma. With the slight easing of restraints put on Aung San Suu Kyi, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Shan State in northeast Burma on March 24, which the junta controlled media says killed 75 people but aid agencies believe killed over 150, and now the U.S. is sending a new envoy to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific affairs. It is an open question, what will be his role in Burma?
The generally under reported fact is that over the past 20+ years of military dictatorship in Burma, now called Myanmar has had a close relationship with U.S. and European oil, gasoline and gem corporations. These capitalist enterprises reap billions in profits from Burma, prop up the military junta, and leave most of the country underdeveloped, with few freedoms and in a state of poverty with a third of Burmese children malnourished according to the World Food Program.
What direction will the new envoy from the U.S., Derek Mitcell, encourage Myanmar/Burma to take?
Some reference sources - http://www.earthrights.org, http://www.irrawaddy.org/ , http://burmadigest.info
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