The year 2002 saw a consolidation of power within the ruling State Peace and Democracy Council that resulted in the confidence to free Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. This resulted almost immediately in a thawing, but certainly not any significant melting, of relations with the international community with respect to Burma (Myanmar). Despite her release, however, Aung San Suu Kyi has not given her approval for any significant non-humanitarian assistance to be given to the government. Positive developments in the reconciliation process are necessary before any significant lifting of sanctions, and thus overall development in the nation, will be possible; to date it appears that this process will be very slow and deliberate and will be undertaken according to the timetable of the government. In the interim, the economy of Burma teeters close to collapse and Burma continues to be the poorest country in the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia overall. Despite these problems, the fact that Burma lies at the crossroads of Asia and is being wooed by China, India, Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and several ASEAN members gives the nation recognition beyond its size and economy. The overall future is not clear, but the "Dawn of a New Burma" may be breaking.
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Errata: In the September/October 2016 issue (volume 56 number 5, pages 836 and 849), there was a technical printing error in Figures 1b and 2 of the article by Ajay Raina that resulted in a loss of data on the graphs. This online article contains the restored figures in their original, correct state. The error is regretted.