Advisory - Burma at a Watershed: Rethinking Western Policy Towards Burma

OTTAWA, Nov. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Western policy towards Burma over the past 20 years has failed. Economic embargoes and severe restrictions on humanitarian and development assistance on one of the world's poorest, most isolated, and most conflict-ridden countries has done little to foster democratic change. Renowned writer, historian, and former United Nations official Thant Myint-U will be in Ottawa on November 30 to deliver a lecture on the future of Western policy towards Burma at Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Dr. Myint-U will argue for a fresh approach to Burma's problems, one based on a more rigorous understanding of the country's recent history, the singular nature of the present military dictatorship, and the fast changing regional landscape.

    Date:     Monday November 30, 2009
    Time:     2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Where:    IDRC, 150 Kent (corner of Albert), 8th Floor, W. David Hopper
              Room, Ottawa, ON

Dr Thant Myint-U is the author of two books, The Making of Modern Burma (2000) and the critically acclaimed The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma (2006). He has written extensively for newspapers and magazines and held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, the International Peace Institute in New York, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. He served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations in the 1990s, in Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia. He later served with the UN Secretariat in New York (2000-2006), most recently as the head of policy planning in the Department of Political Affairs. He is the grandson of two-term United Nations Secretary-General U Thant.

The event is open to the media. French and English simultaneous interpretation is available. The event will also be webcast live at (at 2:00, Ottawa time). Spaces are limited and journalists are encouraged to register by calling Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé at 613-696-2343. For more information, visit

About IDRC

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For nearly 40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, (613) 696-2343,

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