Nearly forty years ago, a military government slammed the doors shut on Burma (Myanmar), virtually cutting it off from the outside world. A decade ago, a nationwide pro-democracy movement was violently crushed and the movements leader, the NobelMoreNearly forty years ago, a military government slammed the doors shut on Burma (Myanmar), virtually cutting it off from the outside world. A decade ago, a nationwide pro-democracy movement was violently crushed and the movements leader, the Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest.
The stand-off continues to this day. Through it all, outsiders have had only rare glimpses of this beautiful Southeast Asian country, still largely untouched by modern influence, as it struggles under the weight of a harsh and repressive regime that has one of the worlds worst human rights records.
Intrigued to know more about the Burmese people whose voices have long been silenced, American writer Julie Sell set out to understand this little-known country through the stories of individuals. Traveling from the literary circles of Rangoon to the rugged hill regions that are officially off-limits to foreigners, the author met and interviewed people from a cross-s! ! ection of society.
They included famous scholars, journalists and Buddhist monks, as well as former student democracy leaders who continue their struggle from the remote jungle regions, and members of the minority ethnic tribes who have suffered mass relocations, forced labor, and death at the hands of the armed forces. Many interviews were held at potentially serious risk to those involved, and all names have been changed to protect them.Whispers at the Pagoda: Portraits of Modern Burma provides rare insights into the social, political and cultural issues that shape life in Burma today.
The book, which includes photographs, provides important context for anyone interested in contemporary Asia, human rights issues, or cultural affairs.