Over 60 years of civil war have left Burma one of the poorest countries in the world. During this time, successive military dictatorships killed thousands of their own people and displaced millions in resistance areas, while effectively strangling the political process in areas under their complete control.
The last several years have seen a nominal move toward Democracy, although the government is still largely composed of former members of the military. Opening of the country has allowed increased tourism and business, which builds the local economy but also leaves the people vulnerable to illegal land grabs by international corporations.
At the same time, attacks and military buildup continue in most ethnic areas, while in Kachin State the Burma Army continues an all-out assault on the people. In other areas there is ongoing laying of landmines, attacks on civilians, forced labor, destruction of civilian property and troop resupply.