White House Press Pool – and which is it? Burma or Myanmar?


Subject: Pool Report #6 -- Obama after Thein Sein bilat

The bilat between Obama and Thein Sein appeared to last about one hour at the parliament building in Yangon.
Obama used the word "Myanmar," the preferred terminology of the former military government and currently nominally civilian government, in a spray following the bilat, rather than use "Burma," the former name of the country, and the one preferred by Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the name the U.S. uses.
"I've shared with him the fact that I recognize this is just the first steps on what will be a long journey," Obama told reporters, with Thein Sein at his side. "But we think a process of democratic and economic reform here in Myanmar that has been begun by the president is one that can lead to incredible development opportunities."
 "I shared with President Thein Sein our belief that the process of reform that he has taken is one that will move this (inaudible) country forward."
Obama noted the government's steps toward democratic elections and the release of prisonsers of conscience and dialogue, all of which he said would help move toward fulfilling "the incredible potential of this beautiful country." Obama said he's looking forward to the visit and hopes to return "sometime in the future."