Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Foreign Correspondent

When I think about the cosmopolitanism of university life, I often think of one particular Harvard dining hall conversation with Thant Myint-U, particularly when I am reading the newspaper about repression and military rule in Southeast Asia. Now, Thant Myint-U is known as a political pragmatist who did a stint as a UN official and writes editorials such as "The Burma Dilemma" and "Saving Burma the right way" in major newspapers, but when I met him he was a fellow college student, albeit one whose life experiences and global perspective made me self-conscious about my Pasadena provincialism. Now, like many authors, Thant Myint-U uses Facebook to keep in touch with his Ivy League peers to network and promote his publications. (It's also interesting to note the fact that the Wikipedia entry on Burma is currently locked in response to an apparent edit war over the very name of the nation, since many would place the information under "Myanmar," the name associated with the regime.)

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