If you want to understand Myanmar, this is a must-see talk. Myanmar is handicapped as a society because the people live in a virtual reality world with blinders on says Ma Thida.
Ma Thida is a medical doctor, writer, human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. She edits a Shwe Amyutay magazine, Info Digest journal, and also volunteers at a local free clinic. In 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organizations, and distributing unlawful literature.” She was released in 1999 due to declining health, increasing political pressure from efforts of organizations like Amnesty International and PEN International. She won several international human rights awards, including the Reebok Human Rights Award, the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, Freedom of Speech Award and Disturbing the Peace; Courageous Writer at Risk Award. She was a International Writers Project Fellow at Brown University and a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, the inaugural elected president of PEN Myanmar. She serves as a board member of PEN International.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at