Burma/ Myanmar Update: End of an Era

Burma/ Myanmar Update: End of an Era

A Myanmar activist holds a portrait of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok on Aug. 16, 2009. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images)

A Luncheon Panel Discussion with MAUREEN AUNG-THWIN, Open Society Institute,
DAVID STEINBERG, Georgetown University and SEAN TURNELL, Macquarie University

Burma/Myanmar has had a military dictatorship for five of the six decades since it gained independence from British colonial rule in 1948 and is one of the poorest countries in Asia. It will this year hold its first election in two decades—20 years after opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won an overwhelming majority which the military junta refused to recognize. How credible will the upcoming election be and what changes will it bring? What would bring about reconciliation between the military and its people? Has interrupted democracy and economic sanctions derailed economic growth? As a member of ASEAN, what role can it play? Can the new US policy of 'pragmatic engagement' with Burma/Myanmar bring about reforms?

Join our panel of experts to discuss the social, economic and political issues affecting this nation of 50 million and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

MAUREEN AUNG-THWIN is Director of the Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative at the Open Society Institute. She sits on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch and is a trustee of the Burma Studies Foundation, which oversees the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. Aung-Thwin was a freelance journalist based in Asia and a program staffer at the Asia Society New York. She attended Northwestern University, Illinois and New York University.

DAVID STEINBERG is Distinguished Professor and Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University. He was a member of the Senior Foreign Service, serving as Director for Technical Assistance in Asia and the Middle East, and Director for the Philippines Thailand and Burma Affairs. He is the author of 13 books and monographs including Turmoil in Burma: Contested Legitimacies in Myanmar and Burma: The State of Myanmar. He graduated from Dartmouth College, Harvard University and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

SEAN TURNELL is Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Macquarie University. His research interests include Burma and its economy and financial sector reform in developing nations. He is a former senior analyst at the Reserve Bank of Australia and is the author of Fiery Dragons: Banks, Moneylenders and Microfinance in Burma. He co-founded Burma Economic Watch in 2001, an online resource of information and commentary on Burma's economy.

Moderated by Philip McClellan, International Herald Tribune

Co-presented with Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Media Partner: International Herald Tribune

Event Details

24 June 2010
8:15am - 10:15am

JW Marriott Hotel, Level 3, Pacific Place, Admiralty Hong Kong

HK$390 Asia Society members/full-time students; HK$490 non-members (priority for members)