COA’s Local and National Discussion Group To Focus on Myanmar This Thursday

Photo by Sébastien Goldberg on Unsplash

The Local and Global Discussion Group of the Weston Council on Aging will focus on Myanmar at its meeting on Thursday, June 9 starting at 1:15 pm via Zoom. Susan Wagner, a longtime resident of Asia, will lead the meeting. Anyone interested may join the discussion.

As many know, or at least have read about, the recent history of Myanmar (the former Burma) has been plagued by coups, chaos, the ascendance of military rule, and accusations of genocide. Bordering China, India, Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand, Myanmar is a country of more than 54 million people representing a diverse patchwork of different ethnic groups, religions, languages, and cultures.

After securing independence from Britain in 1948, the nation soon found itself plagued by separatist forces, ethnic political grievances, and multiple communist insurgencies. The military, which has held power through a series of coups for most of the time since then, has prevented the emergence of a capable centralized government, while its economic mismanagement has kept the country mired in poverty for decades.

Among the questions to be considered are: Given the long history of authoritarianism in Southeast Asia, is it possible for democracy to prevail in Myanmar? Can ethnic conflict in the nation ever be resolved, especially in view of the military’s five-year campaign of mass killings, rape, and arson against the Muslim Rohingya minority?  What policies and actions should the United States take toward Myanmar?

The meeting is open to all who are interested in a civil discussion of the issues with a wide variety of participants. For information about the group in general, this meeting in particular, or to receive a link to participate, contact Susan Wagner at or 508-733-8810.

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