University of Pittsburgh
January 22, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Program to Present Maureen Aung-Thwin's Lecture, Titled "Musings on the Saffron Revolution: Is There Hope for Burma?"

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Pitt's Global Studies Program will host Maureen Aung-Thwin, director of the Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative of the Open Society Institute in a lecture titled "Musings on the Saffron Revolution: Is There Hope for Burma?" at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 in 4130 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St. Oakland. The free and public lecture is part of the Global Issues Lecture Series.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, has been ruled by secretive, xenophobic military juntas since 1962, says Aung-Thwin. In 1988, a nationwide uprising against military rule was crushed and thousands of protestors were killed. Some reforms were promised, including an election that was won overwhelmingly by the democratic opposition, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-but the results were ignored.

In August and September 2007, an overnight rise in fuel prices of up to 500 percent again caused citizens to take to the streets, says Aung-Thwin. When the protestors were arrested, thousands of Buddhist monks demanded that the government address the country's ills, but their demands were met with violence. Aung-Thwin's lecture will examine the fall out of this so-called "Saffron Revolution" and the prospects for a genuine political transformation in Burma.

Aung-Thwin is on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch and a trustee of the Burma Studies Foundation. Prior to her involvement with the Open Society Institute, she worked at the Asia Society in New York and lived and worked in Asia as a freelance journalist. Aung-Thwin received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and did graduate-level studies at New York University.

Pitt's Global Studies Program is part of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). This event is cosponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Center in UCIS and the Global Solutions Education Fund.