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November 13th, 2014
05:44 AM ET

Hope and change in Myanmar?

When the U.S. President first visited Myanmar two years ago, the country seemed on the cusp of a major political transformation.

But the mood is different as Barack Obama returns for his second visit.

"The hope and optimism we had in 2012 is gone," Irrawaddy magazine editor Aung Zaw tells me.

Zaw says there is a general impression in Myanmar that the reform process has stopped, and Obama needs to convey the message to the government that reform must go on.

Beyond the disappointing state of political reform, Myanmar’s leaders have been criticized for their oppressive treatment of the Muslim minority group, the Rohingya.

The Rohingya have been denied citizenship by their own government.  Scores have been living in a displaced persons camp for more than two years.

"The plight of the Rohingya will be a big challenge for Obama," says Zaw. "That's the reason Obama made a phone call to (President) Thein Sein before flying in."

Click on to hear more from our conversation including Zaw's very direct criticism of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her inaction in regards to the Rohingya.

August 18th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

Aung San Suu Kyi revives her political campaign: iReport

In Myanmar, a witness to history. Here is eyewitness video of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in rural Myanmar filed by iReporter Htoo Tay Zar. This is Suu Kyi's first political tour since her house arrest was lifted in November.

Two months ago on News Stream, I interviewed U.S. Senator John McCain who had traveled to Myanmar. He met with Suu Kyi along with senior government leaders. McCain called for specific, concrete action before the U.S. would consider lifting sanctions - the unconditional release of more than 2,000 political prisoners and guarantees of the safety of Suu Kyi as she travels around the country.

Now free, Suu Kyi is making her first trip into the countryside since her 2003 tour ended in house arrest. She is reviving her political campaign... and the military junta is no doubt watching closely.

November 15th, 2010
02:49 PM ET

The Lady speaks to CNN

Freed democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi made her first comments to CNN tonight on News Stream.

She was very direct on a range of questions including her campaign for democracy, how she spent her time in captivity, and even social media.

"We would like to form a network of people working for democracy," she said Monday, adding that she would like to open a dialogue with "those who are in a position to do something, to change the situation in Burma for the better."

On how she spent her time while under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi said she listened to the radio for hours everyday and did a lot of reading. She was able to meet people from the outside like her attorneys and doctors. "There were never really enough hours in the day," she said. "I know that sounds strange."

Asked whether she plans to join Twitter, Suu Kyi said, "I was discussing this with some of the young people," who told her that most youths like Facebook because it's easier for them. She said she has not yet decided whether to join Facebook, Twitter - or both.

A Facebook page supporting Suu Kyi has more than 250,000 fans.

But what struck me most about the interview was her overall tone. She did not once directly challenge the regime or express anger toward the junta, despite her many years of detention.

You can watch the full interview here.