I immigrated to the U.S. in the early 2000’s due to political conflict. I am Chin, an ethnic minority in #Myanmar, and we are persecuted. There is no means of education or moving up the social strata. So the only way that my parents saw a future for us was to move across the ocean to the United States.
We always talk about the people of Myanmar as if they need to be pitied, and some Americans see them as “other than.” I want all people to be looked at as human beings who suffer from the highs and lows of life.
Last semester, I was working with Sanford Professor Dirk Philipsen and he really forced me to think about corporations that were outside of the US and what they were doing in different countries. And given my background knowledge about Myanmar, I came to understand that corporations are directly and inextricably linked to the military.
Through my research with Dr. Philipsen, I realized that because of how directly linked the military is to the economy, the only way for the people of Myanmar to truly claim their freedom is for corporations to stop supporting the military.
By writing a news article about what’s really happening in Myanmar, I feel I am doing my part in amplifying the voices of those on the ground and giving space where space is needed for people to speak about their struggles and what they think the international community can do.
Representation is immensely important especially when attempting to understand conflict that is far away from our own understanding and own experiences. I thought that I’d write an article, and people may be able to relate to the situation in Myanmar more… and it might entice people to do something to help.”
-Thang Lian is a first-year student studying Public Policy and History. Thang recently published an article in Newsweek about his perspectives on the ongoing political struggles in Myanmar following the military coup that began on February 1st, 2021. #HumansofDukeSanford #Undergraduate