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Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah chairs the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah chairs the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ahim Rani (BRUNEI - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)

ASEAN 2013 summit

In a room festooned with purple and yellow flowers, Myanmar took a long-coveted role on Thursday as chairman of ASEAN, the regional grouping of Southeast Asia.



But in a country where three-quarters of the population lack access to electricity and basic telephone services are patchy, the job holds as many problems as promise for a semi-civilian government that emerged from 49 years of oppressive military rule two years ago to surprise the world with sweeping reforms. (Reuters)