Myanmar’s gradual transition from military rule to a more democratic form of governance has been mainly peaceful to date, although violence by Buddhists against Muslims in some parts of the country has exposed underlying and unresolved tensions in Myanmar society. The United States and other nations have provided aid and engaged the country’s leadership to strengthen government institutions, while business interests have been working to develop economic ties.
For many years prior to this transition process, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and local community organizations have been providing medical services and other aid to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Myanmar. Many of these communities were caught in the conflict between the military government and ethnic insurgents. The panelists have extensive experience living and working in Myanmar and will provide an insight to the country’s history and its transition to a hopefully democratic nation. They will also discuss how one NGO, Community Partners International, has helped provide crucial health care support.
Quentin Hewitt, Development Director, Community Partners International
Andrew G. Lim, Human Rights Fellow, University of California, Berkeley