Myanmar: Rising from the ashes

YANGON – The eyes of the world are on Myanmar Sunday as the once pariah nation votes in general elections being contested by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition for the first time in 25 years.

Here are some facts about the former junta-run state:

– From riches to rags –

Blessed with a bounty of natural resources — from rubies and jade to gas, oil and teak — fertile and diverse Myanmar was once also famed as Asia’s rice bowl.

But nearly half a century of ruinous economic policies by the former junta saw its people sink into poverty as the generals plunged the country into isolation.

Once one of the most fashionable cities in Asia, Myanmar’s former capital Rangoon was home to stately leafy boulevards and British colonial buildings.

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