Burma's Reforms Through the Generals' Eyes | A No Nonsense Conversation with Maung Zarni



6pm, Friday November 2, 2012
(Please see pricing and reservation procedure below)

There is absolutely no denying that significant changes are taking place in Burma. Only five years ago, the military-ruled country was a disturbing humanitarian basket case, a human rights hellhole and the Balkans of Southeast Asia. Now the very same country - still ruled by the same clique of generals and plagued by human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and violent ethnic conflicts - is framed by the international media and Western governments alike as "a model of democratic transition" and the next Asian "Tiger". 

It is not only is the liberal West whose heart is thumping with excitement about Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi, now transitioning into a presidential aspirant, is travelling around the world marketing her former captors and tormentors as "sincere reformers".

But how much of this is real? And how much is hype? Do we know what the senior generals and ex-generals, the country's most powerful stakeholders, think of their own reforms? Where do the next generation of military leaders, who have grown so accustomed to a sense of entitlement to rule - not govern - the country, stand? And where is the country heading under the new quasi-civilian management?

These are some of the key questions that will be addressed head-on in this "no-nonsense" conversation, between the outspoken UK-based exile Maung Zarni and moderator and interviewer Veronica Pedrosa.

Maung Zarni is one of the most trenchant critics of both the Burmese military regime and Aung San Suu Kyi, a pioneer in human rights cyber-activism and a Visiting Fellow with the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit (2011-13), at London School of Economics. As a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he co-founded the Free Burma Coalition, one of the Internet's first and largest human rights movements, in 1995. He was one of the first Burmese dissidents to advocate strategic engagement with the military regime and worked with the generals from 2004 until Cyclone Nargis in 2008. He was educated at St Peter's Boys School in Mandalay and the universities of Mandalay, California, Washington and Wisconsin. His forthcoming book on Burma, provisionally titled "Life Under the Boot: 50 years of Military Dictatorship in Burma", will be published by Yale University Press.

Veronica Pedrosa is a veteran journalist of 20 years' international news experience. She has lived and worked in three continents, and her career encompasses the 'big names' in international news broadcasting. Veronica grew up in exile in London after her mother, also a journalist, wrote a biography of the then First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. She was educated at St Paul's Girls School in London and Newham College, Cambridge.
Pricing Details:
Members: No cover charge, buffet dinner is 350 baht
Cover charge for non-members: 300 Baht, Buffet dinner: 350 Baht, for members and non-members alike.
Reservations: To ensure sufficient food for the buffet, we would greatly appreciate your making a buffet reservation at least one day before the program if you plan to join us for the dinner. (No penalty for cancellation if last minute conflicts arise.) Please also note that tables/seats will be reserved only for those with advance buffet bookings. To reserve, please call 02-652-0580-1 or click here to send an e-mail to info@fccthai.com .


Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand 
Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building 
518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station) 
Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 
Tel.: 02-652-0580 

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