The Hidden History of Burma

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In the early 2010s, Burma seemed to be in the midst of an astonishing transformation, from the darkest of Dictatorships to a peaceful and prosperous democracy. As the country opened up after a quarter century of self-imposed isolation, trade embargos were lifted, political prisoners released, and media censorship ended. Aung San Suu Kyi, released from long years of house arrest, led her party to a sweeping victory in the first free and fair elections in a generation and appeared set to finally lead her country. But by 2018 The mood had turned deathly grim. As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, people belonging to Burma Muslim minority, fled the country, bringing with them horrific accounts of rape and massacre, Burma stood accused of genocide; and aunt San Suu Kyi herself came under blistering international criticism for not doing more for the Rohingya. Peace talks with rebel armies that held sway over large swathes of the country had almost ground to a halt. And the economy, which in 2014 was the fastest growing in the world, was in deep trouble. What happened? How did the story of Burma “miracle” fall apart? In this brilliant, insightful account of Burma Rocky road to democracy over the past fifteen years, thant myint-u, the world’s leading authority on the country, also examines how Burma has been a fragile stage for the most pressing issues The world faces today, from exploding inequality, the rise of ethnonationalism and the impact of social media, to climate change and the emergence of China as a global power.

out the Author

Thant Myint-U is an award-winning writer, historian, conservationist, diplomat and former adviser to the President of Burma. He has also served on UN Peace Keeping operations in Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia, and at the UN Secretariat in New York. He is the author of four books, and a recipient of India’s Padma Shri award and Japan’s Fukuoka Prize.

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