Amitav Ghosh, an Internationally acclaimed author, gave the 2016 U Thant Commemorative Lecture at U Thant House. The lecture entitled “Climate Change and a Rising Asia” examined Asia’s distinctive role in the history of global warming and the bearing this has on today’s politics of climate change. It was a sweeping, multi-layered, and thought-provoking talk which was followed by a lively discussion.
The commemorative lecture marked the birth-anniversary on 22 January of former UN Secretary-General U Thant. Dr. Thant Myint-U, Chairman of the U Thant House, gave introductory remarks on the life and legacy of U Thant. This was the first memorial lecture to be held at U Thant House since its restoration, and marked the opening of the house as a museum and education space. Dr. Thant Myint-U said: “It was very fitting that we had a discussion at U Thant House on climate change. U Thant was a passionate believer and early advocate of environmental protection. We hope U Thant House will continue to be not just a museum, but also a venue for talks on issues related to U Thant’s life and legacy, such as peace, human rights, sustainable development, and climate change”.
The event was attended by over 120 people including many Myanmar political and civil society leaders, notably NLD patron U Tin Oo and diplomats, businessmen, scholars, and United Nations officials. Dr. Thant Myint-U said: “We were especially honored to have with us today NLD Patron U Tin Oo, whom I have known since I was a novice and he was a monk at the Mahasi Monastery in 1981”.
Amitav Ghosh is the best-selling author of many works of fiction and non-fiction, including “The Glass Palace”, set partly in Myanmar.