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Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule

Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule (Hardback)

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Burma remains the odd man out in Southeast Asia. While other countries have democratized and prospered, Burma is governed by a repressive military dictatorship, its economy has collapsed, and it is the second largest producer of heroin in the world. In this exceptionally readable yet scholarly account of Burma today, Christina Fink gives a moving and insightful picture of what life under military rule is like. Through the extensive interviews conducted inside and outside the country, we begin to understand the accommodations that people feel compelled to make in order to carry on with daily life, including the innovative forms of resistance that some courageous Burmese have engaged in.

Her portrait of Burmese society takes in a wide diversity of people, including students who have played such a prominent part in the opposition, ordinary soldiers unhappy with what the armed forces are doing to their country, religious figures, the artistic community, and even political prisoners.

The author also explores the strategies and techniques which the military regime has so skillfully deployed in order to maintain itself in power in defiance of the popular will. She presents the political history of the country, and concludes her book by examining the internationalization of Burma's politics by both the regime and the democratic opposition as they seek allies and support abroad.

Christina Fink served as the editor of the BurmaNet News in Thailand from mid-1995 to early 1998. During the writing of Living Silence she was visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and was supported by an Open Society Institute Individual Project Fellowship. She has been a consulting anthropologist for the Dreaming of Kawthoolei documentary film project, and Thailand representative for the Open Society Institute's Burma Project.

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