Htun Yee, Sydney, Far Economic Eastern Review

Downward Spiral [May 23] chronicles the terrible shape Burma's economy is in today. Against this, the government's response has been a series of ad hoc and seemingly contradictory measures that have aggravated the situation.

Burma's economy will remain crippled for many more years unless the military government undergoes political reform and cooperates with opposition parties, including the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Only then might there be the possibility of creating an environment conducive to investment and trade. Moreover, the size of the military has become a millstone around Burma's neck, given the huge amount spent on defence.

The international community should work in concert with the military government and all opposition parties to jointly evaluate the political reforms needed for the market to once again favour Burma's economy, and thereby secure the country's long-term future.