Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Burma's Burning Issues and more

source-The Nation

The Best Friend Library in Chiang Mai will be holding three Burmese-related events in Chiang Mai from March 28 to April 2 before taking a small breat for Thingyan/Songkran (Southeast Asian New Year Water Festivel).

The details of upcoming programmes;’Burma’s Burning Issues: An Evening of Film and Discussion’, Thursday 28 March, 7 p.m. @ Documentary Arts Asia, free admission.

We will be screening two new documentaries about two of the most pressing issues challenging Burma today. Hidden Genocide: The Rohingya of Burma is an investigation into the Arakan/Rohingya conflict in western Burma, while Nothing About Us Without Us highlights the importance of listening to the voices of the refugees themselves in discussions of their potential repatriation to Burma. Following the films, we will be joined by representatives of Women’s League of Burma and Burma Partnership, as well as a local researcher and activist, to discuss the issues. More details about this free event, including a map to Documentary Arts Asia, can be found at

Lecture by Khin Ohmar - ’Burma: Realities & Possibilities’, Tuesday 2 April, 1 p.m. @ Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Social Sciences, free admission.

Veteran Burmese activist Khin Ohmar (Burma Partnership, Burmese Women’s Union, Women’s League of Burma, etc.) will deliver a comprehensive and analytical update on the challenges and opportunities in Burma today. Her wide-reaching lecture will touch on issues of ethnic conflict, the peace process, and the opening-up of space for civil society and activist groups in the country.

The lecture will be followed by a screening of Nothing About Us Without Us and further discussion with Naw Htoo Lwe, a representative of the Karenni National Refugee Committee. Both speakers will be happy to respond to questions and share ideas with attendees.

This program will take place in the 4th Floor Meeting Room of the Faculty of Social Sciences Operational Building at Chiang Mai University. More details can be found at

’An Evening with Oddny Gumaer’, Tuesday 2 April, 7 p.m. @ Documentary Arts Asia, free admission.

The Best Friend is very pleased to welcome author and humanitarian Oddny Gumaer for a reading from her latest book Picking Flowers on Dusty Roads and a discussion of her experiences founding and working with Partners Relief & Development. Oddny is also the author of Displaced Reflections: Peace from Burma Shed Light on Life, Love, and Faith, and an international spokesperson advocating compassion and support for the children of Burma.

Partners, founded in 1995, positively affects more than 1,300 children every month through its programs along the Thai-Burma border, as well as tens of thousands of displaced people inside Burma. Partners’ education initiatives make education a reality for more than 80,000 refugee and displaced children every day.

Admission for this event is free, but donations will be accepted for the admirable projects of Partners Relief and Development. More details, including a map to Documentary Arts Asia, can be found at

+ Please note that The Best Friend Library in Chiang Mai will be closed from 13 - 21 April for Thingyan/Songkran. If you have materials that will be due back to the library during that period, please return them the following week. The library is also closed during events.

+ Make sure to follow our Facebook page at, where we share all event details, as well as links to important Burma-related news articles, information, and campaigns.

+ Supporters in Australia, stay tuned for information about a series of special awareness-raising/information-sharing events that we are currently coordinating to take place in Sydney, Melbourne, and Byron Bay during the month of April. More details soon!

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