Myanmar’s Political Situation from an Activist Perspective

The current political situation and corruption in Myanmar with Khin Zaw Win

Date: Tuesday, February 14th

Time: 4:00 – 5:30pm

Where: Room 335, Allard Law, UBC

Khin Zaw Win is an activist residing in Myanmar and deeply concerned with and involved in my country’s present, multiple and difficult transitions viz.

– from the longest-running civil war to a durable peace;

– from authoritarianism to democracy;

– from a centralized, majoritarian system of governance to greater devolution of  power and recognition of ethnic aspirations;

– from an ailing hybrid command/market economy to a healthy, open and ‘normal’ economy.

He served with the ministries of health in Myanmar and Malaysia, and later with UNICEF Yangon.

“In the doldrums of the one-party state and stagnant economy before 1988 I had attempted to initiate a new development path through civil society but the prevailing situation did not allow this to happen. When the popular upheaval of 1988 occurred and brought down the previous system, I became fully immersed in the transitions mentioned above, as well as in human rights work in response to the wave of repression that followed. For this, I became a political prisoner from 1994 to 2005. My release did not bring any relief however, nor respite. The country faces a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation brought about by mismanagement within the country and by punitive measures from abroad…here are huge looming national issues and needs which neither side in the country has set their hands to. Both sides are entrenched in old-style approaches which haven’t worked before and are even more unlikely to work in the present. A new course grounded on political creativity and entrepreneurship is called for, and it is my hope to contribute to this.”