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Mac McClelland: Burma's 'Genocide'

Jenny Asarnow
11/04/2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) holds elections on Sunday, November 7, 2010. It's the country's first elections in 20 years, and it's anything but a model of a democratic transition. The ruling military junta is guaranteed 25 percent of the seats in parliament, and the main opposition parties aren't allowed to run. Critics say the election is a sham meant to make the brutal military dictatorship appear more legitimate to international observers.

The 2010 election could further inflame a little–known ethnic conflict that's been raging nonstop since 1949. A young American reporter, Mother Jones' Mac McClelland, stumbled upon it when she went to Thailand to volunteer with people she thought were democracy activists. It turns out they were Burmese refugees fighting a guerilla war against what they call Burma's genocide.

Mac McClelland spoke at Seattle University on March 29, 2010. The World Affairs Council sponsored the event.

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