The Lady, the General, and the Rohingya – January 14, 12:15pm

Special Noon Event

The Lady, the General, and the Rohingya

Lex Rieffel

January 14, 12:15 p.m., Assembly Room

What has happened to democratic reform in Myanmar? In light of what the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population in Rakhine state, many are asking what kind of democracy perpetuates violence against its own people. Why does Aung San Suu Kyi seem unwilling, or unable, to oppose the military  campaign against the Rohingya? Is it time for the international community to abandon her government, or is there a constructive role we can continue to play?

Lex Rieffel is a nonresident senior fellow in global economy and development at the Brookings Institution. His recent work has focused on the economy of Myanmar during the period of democratic transition. Rieffel has held positions at the Institute of International Finance, the U.S. Treasury Department, and USAID. He served in the  Peace Corps and as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Rieffel is a graduate of Princeton University and the Fletcher School, Tufts University.


For the past twelve months, he has been working with a Burmese scholar at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore on a study of options for ASEAN in promoting peace and development in Rakhine State, as ASEAN’s contribution to resolving the Rohingya crisis. The 10-page policy brief can be downloaded here (PDF): Rieffel-Thuzar-ISEAS Perspective2018-3

Recently published blog post on the Myanmar economy published by Nikkei Asian Review (PDF): Rieffel-LifeGoesOn for NAR 12Jan2018
Or on line: Myanmar economy grows despite refugee crisis

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