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  • Author: Larry M. Dinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a land of contrasts. It is geographically the largest country in Southeast Asia, stretching from tropical beaches to Himalayan peaks. It is rich in resources, including natural gas, timber, and gems. Eighty years ago its people were generally acknowledged to be the best educated in the region, and their prospects for development were expected to be high. Yet today, Burma is the poorest country in Southeast Asia with a per capita GDP of about $625; governmental health and educational expenditures are pitifully small; and Burmese rank near the bottom in most human-development indexes. The ethnic Burman, mostly Buddhist majority lives mostly in the central plains; but more than one hundred other distinct ethnic groups exist, as do notable Christian, Muslim, and Hindu minorities. Visitors universally praise the hospitality of Burmese peoples; yet ethnic-based armed conflicts simmer and sometimes flare in border areas, and Burma receives constant international criticism for major human rights abuses.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Burma, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Jinnie Lee
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the State Department's flagship citizen exchange program. The IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the United States. These visits to the United States reflect the International Visitors' professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. The participants are current and emerging foreign leaders in government, politics, journalism, education, arts, business, and other key fields identified as such by officers serving in US embassies. Almost 200,000 individuals have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, including more than 300 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States