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The remarkable balancing boulder temple of Kyaiktiyo

Since 1988 Myanmar has been under the military rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) - formerly known as Slorc - an abominable military junta. Prospective travellers should monitor events in Myanmar and weigh up the arguments in support of and opposition to travel.

Dissent is suppressed, and political prisoners are jailed for expressing their opinions. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi advocates boycotting all forms of travel to the country as a means of isolating the government and forcing reform.

Inside Myanmar, there are a number of people who support her stance. This pro-boycott group argues that much of the money from tourism goes directly and indirectly into the pockets of the very generals who continue to deny Burmese citizens the most-basic civil rights. However, others involved with Burmese politics, including many current or former members of the NLD, feel that a travel boycott of Myanmar is counterproductive. They maintain that tourism is not only economically helpful, but vital to the pro-democracy movement for the two-way flow of information it provides.

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