Yangon – The US government donated 16,000 tons of rice to typhoon-ravaged Irrawaddy delta Wednesday, prompting the normally hostile state-run media to the cover the news, an official of the US embassy in Yangon confirmed. “There were five journalists from Ministry of Information who joined our trip for the first time,” the official said.

Myanmar state media joins US official’s trip for the first time
The trip was led Larry Dinger, the deputy chief of mission, and included officials from the World Food Programme. The donated rice was imported from the US, sources said.
The secretive military junta appeared to be signalling a shift toward willingness to cooperate on some level. One retired diplomat noted that state media has not been with US embassy officials for almost 20 years.
Stephen Blake, director of the US State Department’s Mainland Southeast Asia Office, visited Myanmar last week and met with senior government officials including Foreign Minister Nyan Win.
The US imposed sanctions on Myanmar in 1988 after the regime launched a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators that left an estimated 3,000 people dead.
It has not posted a full ambassador to Myanmar for several years.
There have been signs that US President Barack Obama may reexamine US policy towards Myanmar in light of the failure of sanctions and tough talk to significantly influence the ruling junta’s policies over the past two decades.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to Indonesia last month said the US was conducting a review of its foreign policy towards Myanmar.

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