Myanmar is facing a daunting array of challenges, from soaring economic inequality, rising ethnonationalism and continuing armed conflicts to fragile state institutions, the impact of climate change and the rise of China next door.
These challenges have long been seen through the lens of democratic change and the contest between the military dictatorship and Aung San Suu Kyi. However, more recently these issues have been overshadowed by the extreme violence in Rakhine State, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, and Aung San Suu Kyi’s muted response to the humanitarian crisis.
Join eminent historian Dr Thant Myint-U in conversation with the Director of the Lowy Institute’s Southeast Asia Project, Ben Bland, as they discuss the problems facing Myanmar and the urgent need for fresh thinking if the country is to escape its tragic past and prevent an even worse crisis in the future.
Dr Thant Myint-U is an award-winning writer, historian, former UN official, and from 2012 to 2015 was an adviser to the Myanmar government on peace-building. He has served on UN peacekeeping operations in Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia, and at the UN Secretariat in New York, including as the Chief of Policy Planning in the Department of Political Affairs. He is the author of four books, most recently The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century (forthcoming 2019). He was educated at Harvard and Cambridge Universities and taught history at Cambridge from 1996 to 2000.
We want to thank the Australian National University for supporting Dr Thant's visit to Australia.
Thank you to our Corporate Member King & Wood Mallesons for providing the venue for this event.