When Barack Obama arrives in Myanmar tomorrow, he will be the first sitting US president ever to do so, and there are expectations that he will make a bold gesture to encourage the country's reform and democratisation processes. The United States has already suspended sanctions on Myanmar and removed an import ban in recognition of President Thein Sein's political and economic reforms.
While Mr Obama will be careful to keep the overall tone during his visit upbeat and encouraging, he will not be able to avoid certain issues if he wishes to maintain the credibility of the US as a staunch supporter of global human rights.
In this respect, Mr Obama is well positioned to be an instrument for positive change in the country.
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