The junta took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize price controls after decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism," but had to reinstate subsidized prices on staples in the face of food riots, upon which the democracy movement grafted its agenda.The government called out troops and the rioters were defiant until the monks intervened: standing between both sides, they told everyone to go home and they did.The riots caused overseas development assistance to cease and the government subsequently nullified the results of the 1990 legislative elections.In response to the government's attack in May 2003 on Aung San Suu Kyi and her convoy, the USA imposed new economic sanctions against Myanmar, including bans on imports of products from Myanmar and on provision of financial services by US citizens.
Aung San subsequently switched allegiance and helped the British win Burma back from the Japanese.
The terms of this "Panglong Agreement" were enshrined in the 1947/1948 constitution of the new Union of Burma.
The new central government of the nation quickly worked to consolidate its power, marginalizing and angering tribal leaders and setting off more than a decade of armed conflict.
But SLORC refused to hand over power, instead placing NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, which she has endured for 14 of the last 20 years.
What was once one of the richest and most developed countries in Asia has since slumped into poverty due to inefficient economic policies, rural poverty and corruption.
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The monks demanded an apology but none was forthcoming and soon processions of monks with alms bowls held upside down filled many cities (including Sittwe, Mandalay, and Yangon).