Friday, October 1, 1999 Published at 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
A generation of young Burmese have lost out on any chance for a good education.
The men in uniform
Ranking military officers dominate the government - a shadowy and secretive force that has recently renamed itself the State Peace and Development Council.
Multinationals and human rights
Although US companies have been banned from new investment in Burma, investments from other countries have largely made up the shortfall.
Waiting for democracy
The history of Burma since independence has been one of democracy curtailed.
What chance for change?
BBC correspondent Christopher Gunness reports that despite autocratic rule, shifting world opinion promises good news for Burma's democratic movement.
Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi
Like South African leader Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come to be seen internationally as a symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.