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Page last updated at 07:52 GMT, Friday, 23 March 2012

Burma's 'light at the end of the tunnel'

In just over a week the people of Burma will go to the polls after what's been a period of unprecedented change.

A once secretive and isolated state, ranked among President Bush's "axis of evil" nations like North Korea and Iran, is now opening up after a succession of democratic reforms.

The Today programme's Mike Thomson reports from the country's former capital, Rangoon where election fever has taken over.

He speaks to a shopkeeper selling Aung San Suu Kyi t-shirts and hears how there was once a time when "the government would probably have shut down our business and put us in jail" for doing such a thing.

And Win Tin, a co-founder of the National League for Democracy, tells him that "now we see light at the end of the tunnel" and that these elections are a "harbinger of new days".

In pictures: Inside Burma

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