What Next? Political Developments in Burma and Implications for the Future
November 07 2007, 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Aung Din, policy director, U.S. Campaign for Burma
Ingrid Jordt, assistant professor of anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Priscilla Clapp, former U.S. charge d'affaires in Burma
What lies ahead for Burma?
This program will examine recent events in the country and their potential impact on the political opposition and the pro-democracy movement; on relations between monks and the military; and on prospects for transition toward democracy in Burma.
AUNG DIN is policy director and cofounder of the U.S. Campaign for Burma, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy and activist group promoting human rights, freedom, and democracy in Burma. He is also country representative for the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP), which is based on the Thai-Burma border. He was jailed as a political prisoner for more than four years after organizing and helping lead Burma’s pro-democracy uprising in 1988. At the time, he was serving as vice chairman of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), which was then the country’s largest national student organization.
INGRID JORDT is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests include processes of political legitimation and lay/monastic relations in Buddhist Burma, and she has conducted research in the country since 1988. Dr. Jordt, who has lived as a Buddhist nun in Burma, has written widely on religion and political legitimacy in Burma. In her new book, Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power, she describes transformations in Buddhism and the consequences these have had for Burma’s military and how it governs.
PRISCILLA CLAPP is a retired U.S. diplomat. Her 30-year career in public service includes a stint as U.S. charge d’affaires in Burma from 1999 to 2002. Additionally, she has worked on the U.S. State Department’s policy planning staff and with State’s East Asian and political-military bureaus. In addition to her government service, Ms. Clapp has held positions with the Brookings Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies. In July 2007, the U.S. Institute of Peace published her working paper, Building Democracy in Burma, which has since been updated (and will soon be republished) to reflect recent events.