World Culture: Burma & Cambodia, Then and Now

Presented by the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio (CFINO):

Burma and Cambodia: Past and Present by Mel Vye

In January and February 2012, Mel and Martha Vye travelled to five countries in SE Asia: Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Two of these countries, Burma (also known as Myanmar) and Cambodia, are of particular interest to humanists.

Burma has been in virtual isolation for over 50 years. There are no credit cards, ATMs, freeways, or high-speed internet. Going there is like going back in time. Burma has recently released political prisoners and opened up the country to some elections. President Obama has responded by sending Secretary Clinton to Burma and removing some sanctions.

In the 1970s, Cambodia was seized by a brutal dictator, Pol Pot. Millions of people were brutally tortured and killed as Pol Pot tried to return the country to an agrarian society. The country is now on the road to discovery.

Mel will provide a PowerPoint presentation on Burma and Cambodia, showing the current state of affairs in these countries, and how they have evolved from a recent violent past.  Following this presentation, he will answer questions on any of the five countries he visited.

Note: Mel's presentation will include a few graphic images, which may not be suitable for all audiences.

Light snacks will be provided- be sure to catch this fascinating program!


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  • Edward B.

    The presenter gave data and photos of his trips to Burma, Cambodia, and also discussed Vietnam and Laos. He provided very interesting insights on these countries which are not very well known to Americans. He encouraged questions from the audience, and his answers were knowledgable

    June 1, 2012

  • Mark T.

    Thanks Mel for an excellent presentation. The segment on the Khmer Rouge's "building S21" and the "Killing Fields" was especially interesting, albeit depressing. It was a pleasure to meet Christine! :)

    May 31, 2012

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