This morning’s speaker, in the Convention Room of the Le Meridien Hotel, was from “The Best Friend Burmese Library in Chiang Mai”
The manager of The Best Friend Library , Garrett Kostin, gave the background of this important community centre that works to share information and raise awareness about the current situation in Burma, while also supporting migrants and refugees in Thailand. He shared a 5-minute video about the library and its projects, explained how local expats can make use of the library and get involved, and discussed a bit about Shan and Burmese migrants in Chiang Mai, as well as the future of Burma and the library.
Garret, who is a lucid and interesting speaker, recently returned from a lecture tour of Australia.
He referred to the 1990 election when Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory, but was denied taking office by the military dictatorship. Since then have been great changes and positive progress in Burma. Within the country, however, she has lost a lot of legitimacy.Some say she does not give enough support to ethnic minorities. Others claim it is simply a ploy to placate the generals and help her win government at the next election.
Severe anti Muslim intolerance in the country has also developed into conflict between Buddhists and Muslims.