Thein Sein

Last week, Burma's first civilian President in half a century was inaugurated. Htin Kyaw is the first democrat, and perhaps the first good man, to lead Burma's government since General Ne Win ousted prime minister U Nu in a coup in 1962. So last week should have been a time of celebration, marking the achievement of a struggle for democracy that has gone on for decades. Or so many think.
Despite the encouraging noises since Sunday's election, the constitution entrenches military influence in the political system. A quarter of seats in parliament are reserved for officers and the National Defence and Security Council retains the power to remove the government. Then - perhaps surprisingly to many - there is growing doubt about Aung San Suu Kyi herself.
There is a downward spiral of continuing attacks, human rights violations, repression and restrictions on humanitarian aid against the Rohingya. There is impunity from the villager to the President, and as long as this impunity continues, so will the repression and violations of international law.
When Thein Sein met Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, he would have found them a lot more enthusiastic about the reform process in Burma than most people who actually live there.
Burma's President Thein Sein arrived in London last night, the first such visit in almost thirty years. Today, he and David Cameron will meet. Until a year ago, such a visit would have been unthinkable. Burma's regime was a pariah, facing sanctions and growing calls for an inquiry into crimes against humanity.
From the moment of his first trip to Burma in April 2012, David Cameron and his government have been too eager to praise
As a leading aid donor to Burma, it is right that we acknowledge and encourage the progress to date, but the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will be failing in their responsibilities if they are not frank about the clear shortcomings.
Let's be honest. Burma isn't the first country that comes to mind when one talks about open government. Yet despite its ongoing challenges, Burma has made huge strides towards reform and openness in the past few years.
Twenty "lost" Spitfires that were buried in Burma during the Second World War could return to the skies, it has been revealed
David Cameron arrived in Burma today in what is believed to be the first visit to the former colony by a British prime minister