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For Thein Sein, the end is the beginning

Myanmar President Thein Sein outlines his reform priorities during an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review on July 29. (Photo by Yumi Kotani)

NAYPYITAW -- When he welcomes visitors to the sumptuous presidential palace in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, these days, President Thein Sein exudes the determination of a leader just starting -- rather than ending -- his five-year term.

     In a wide-ranging interview on July 29, he outlined priorities for further economic, social and political reforms that would easily take eight years to implement -- rather than the eight months he has remaining in office. In rare open criticism of moves by political rivals, he also alluded to an intensifying struggle within the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, and a deepening rift between the executive and legislative branches.

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