Published on Sunday, 18 November 2012 13:56
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar on November 19 is to be hailed by Myanmar citizens as one of a head of state who has constantly encouraged the promotion of democracy in Myanmar.
American flags seen at the printing service shop near Shwegonedaing, Bahan Township
(Photo - Aung Zaw Htun/EMG)
Myanmar people are due to honour the visit with statues of Obama on his arrival at Yangon International Airport.
The public would be allowed to welcome the US president depending on the security situation, said a government official who requested not to be named.
A graffiti depicting Obama seen near the traffic light at the corner of Kabaraye Road and Dhammazedi
(Photo - Aung Zaw Htun/EMG)
A group of Myanmar youths have created a piece of graffiti depicting Obama and reading ‘Welcome Obama’ on the flags of the two nations near Kandawgyi Lake Circular Road and Excel Tower in Yangon while many others are buying US flags, it is learnt.
Workers repairing the Convocation Hall of Yangon University, seen on November 16(Photo - Aung Zaw Htun/EMG)
Major repairs are also being carried out at the historic Yangon University where the US president is scheduled to deliver a speech to the masses.
The Yangon University is the alma mater of late patriotic state leaders, student leaders and famous literati, including General Aung San, Myanmar’s independence architect.
Moreover, it is a place where significant events happened such as the 1962 student movements and the 1988 democracy movements. The building of Yangon University Students Union was blown up in July, 1962.
The Convocation Hall of Yangon University seen on November 16 (Photo - Aung Zaw Htun/EMG)
US embassy officials are also helping with upgrading tasks and security measures on the campus of the university.
Meanwhile, some analysts have commented that Obama’s visit will contribute to Myanmar’s political reform process to a certain degree and serve as a change of relationship between Myanmar and the international community.
“Obama promised to make changes if he became president during the US election before serving his first-term. When he became president, he kept his promise. His changes included US-Myanmar relations. The US’s attitude towards Myanmar has changed, which had quite an impact on the powerful Western nations. Obama is welcome to our country,” commented Thu Wai, chairman of Democratic Party (Myanmar).
Elites from various fields also welcome Obama’s visit to Myanmar describing it as a change of international relationship with Myanmar.
“We welcome the visit of a US leader to Myanmar. As a public member, I applaud president Obama for recognizing our country,” said Professor Dr Khin Saw Nwe of the History Department of the Yangon University.
“I hope that a president directly elected by the people of a country which has adopted good practices of democracy for long will develop constructive changes by meeting the figures he should meet. We welcome Obama’s visit as it will not only convey good messages to our people but also help Myanmar catch international attention,” said Pyone Cho, a leader of ‘88’ Student Generation Group.
“The US-Myanmar relations were strained after Myanmar got independence in 1948. In the time of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) government, the relations were not after the Chinese Kuomintang invasion. After a military coup in 1962 the bilateral relations were worse. When an uprising happened in 1988, the US administration encouraged promoting democracy in Myanmar. But the relations became the worst when a military coup was carried out. Consequently, the US imposed sanctions against Myanmar. Now I hope that the relations between the two countries will revive as the US president himself will visit here,” commented Win Kyaing, general secretary of Myanmar Fishery Federation.
Obama is welcome as it is hoped that Myanmar will improve in various sectors such as politics, economy and health if the US assistance is rendered, he added.
The US White House has confirmed that president Barak Obama will visit Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia from 17 to 20 November. He is due to arrive in Myanmar on November 19.
During the visit, Obama is scheduled to meet with President Thein Sein at the building of Yangon Region Parliament and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her house on University Avenue Road in Yangon.
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