I was cynically optimistic when I read that Gordon Brown's last correspondence as Prime Minister was a hand written letter to Aung San Suu Kyi. I suspect that this didn't happen without some smoke filled corridor meetings attended by the United States and China. Principally with trade deals as the sacrificial lamb whereby everyone benefits but the environment. Thailand most notably signed a reported 8 Billion dollar deal just recently with Burma so clearly they were privy to yesterdays news.
Burma is the place I've explored the most by backpack and skull bustingly long (24 hours +) dilapidated bus journeys outside of Thailand. I spent an idyllic week or so a few years back on one of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches off the bay of Bengal in Burma and took this favourite picture of cattle used by the fishermen to haul in the catch while immersed in the water. It's here and across the country that I got to know a little more of the people. Most importantly that the ethnic tribes of Burma are another Yugoslavia or Balkanisation of S.E Asia waiting to happen.
I'm extraordinarily happy that an historical olive branch as been extended. It's by no means going to be any easier from now on. Indeed it will be harder to avoid bloodshed, but this first difficult step has been taken by the military junta. Which means somewhere inside the General's clique, the story of evolution continues to gather speed with what is to employ metaphorical adumbrations; a race against extinction.