Burma’s President Thein Sein is a retired general who came out of the woodwork of the country’s shadowy military elite. But he just may be the Southeast nation’s Gorbachev. Thein has steered the gradual passage of democratic reforms—and while myriad challenges remain, not least the bloody ethnic strife in the country’s west, the rest of the world is taking note. President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Burma in November, with the U.S. promising to “normalize” trade relations with the resource-rich state and drop an import ban on Burma.
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