The celebrations started even before the polls opened on Apr. 1. The mood has been festive in Yangon and surrounding districts for the past few days, with jubilant revellers, sporting National League for Democracy (NLD) logos parading on open trucks, motorbikes, rickshaws, chanting party slogans and blasting patriotic songs made especially for the occasion.
"Our past experiences have demonstrated that a mere ceasefire agreement will not result in the durable peace that we have long sought. Political peace is the only way forward."
As 'positive' news flows out of Burma - release of political prisoners, ceasefire talks in ethnic areas, increased freedom, formation of labour unions – people inside the country and exiles have been in heated discussion. What does 'reform' entail and are the changes going to be fully implemented?
Moves by the Burmese government to settle ethnic conflicts in the country, notably with the Karen in the mountainous eastern part of the country, have caught most observers by surprise.
The release of 651 prisoners, a process which started this month, is being seen as a victory for activists and families who have had to contend with Burma’s notorious prison system.
The Burmese army has been following a policy of systematically raping women and girls to subjugate the country's rebellious ethnic minorities, according to a new report.