August 19, 2016

The Economist declares Myanmar ‘country of the year’

THE ECONOMIST, a British weekly magazine covering politics and economics, has declared Myanmar its ‘country of the year’, saying the country improved the most over the course of the past year.
The magazine’s editors explain in the 19 December issue that in considering which country to honour as ‘country of the year’, its editors decided to select a country that has made the world a better place. The editors write that Myanmar’s ‘transition to something resembling democracy has come faster than anyone dared expect.’
Five years ago the country was a dictatorship where even pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader, were banned from newspapers, they point out.
The article acknowledges the ‘huge privileges’ retained by the army in the country’s political landscape but concedes that it appears ready to share power following the landslide victory of the National League for Democracy, which won 77 percent of the vote, in November. The London-based news magazine also explained why the award did not go to one of the countries that grabbed the most headlines, such as Russia, or to the Islamic State, which forced itself into the news more than most countries in 2015.
“We do not wish to honour military adventurism, domestic repression and the burning of perfectly good foreign cheese. Likewise, Islamic State is disqualified because it is not a nation but an abomination. We prefer to recognise a country that has made the world a better place.”
For that, the editors at The Economist write, Myanmar wins the prize.
The Economist is an English-language weekly news magazine owned by the Economist Group and edited in offices in London, United Kingdom. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843. The Economist now claims to reach 5.3 million readers in print and online.
Caption: An inforgraphic published by The Economist shows a timeline of Myanmar history from 1948 to 2015. The magazine recognised Myanmar as the most favoured nation of 2015 and as ‘country of the year’.


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