Myanmar was under the control of a socialist / nominally Buddhist military junta from 1998-2010. Elections held in 2010 were widely perceived to be a sham. However, since then, there have been major developments, including the visit of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and now revered democratic hero, Aung San Suu Kyi (2012), and her political party, the New League for Democracy (NLD), was allowed to re-enter the political process.
The NLD swept to power in the 2015 general elections, with Aung San Suu Kyi now running the new government and a dramatic process of national reconciliation and rebuilding. The country is one of the least economically developed in the world, though rich in resources. Right now there is a ‘gold rush’ of foreign business people and companies, seeking lucrative opportunities. Inflation is high, and most local people will be hard hit financially before positive change slowly comes to Myanmar.
In a stunning political move after the 2015 general election, Aung San Suu Kyi nominated a Chin (ethnic minority) Christian, Henry Van Thio, as Vice President of Myanmar, with huge powers and responsibility for internal national rebuilding and tourism. More stunning for MEGST (Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology) was that the new VP is husband of Dr Anna Sui Hluan, who graduated with her PhD from Otago University in August 2017, where she and Henry lived with their three children for five years.