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    In conversation - Tales of hope and survival from Myanmar’s Insein prison

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    Event description

    Sean Turnell spent almost two years in Myanmar’s terrifying Insein prison, accused of being a spy. Ma Thida was also incarcerated there, denied medical treatment and came very close to dying. In the face of such trauma, how did they survive? Ma Thida immersed herself in her practice of Buddhist Vipassana meditation and Sean says his sense of humour got him through. Important players in Myanmar’s government and politics, three years after the military seized power in a coup, what hope do they hold for the return of democracy?

    Join Sean Turnell, author of An Unlikely Prisoner, and Ma Thida, activist and author of A-Maze, for an intimate conversation with Mick O'Regan about their time in Myanmar’s notorious Insein Prison. 

    When: 5:30-8pm, Thursday 30 May
    Where: Mullumbimby Civic Hall
    Tickets: $30 Members /$35 General + Booking Fees

    There will be an open bar and Pocket Curries for purchase from 5.30pm

    Pocket Curries are served in a chapati pocket with rice and a choice of an organic Tarka Dhal, Mixed Veg and a free range Butter Chicken (gluten free options) $12 - $14 each.


    Ma Thida
    is a Burmese human rights activist, surgeon and writer. She spent six years in Burma’s Insein prison in the late 1990s for her pro-democracy activism. She has published 26 books, including her prison memoir Prisoner of Conscience; My Steps through Insein and A-maze both available in English. She is currently living in exile in Germany. She is the Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison committee and has received many international awards, including the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award

    Sean Turnell
    is Honorary Professor of Economics at Macquarie University. In 2009 he published an influential book on Myanmar’s financial system, Fiery Dragons, which made him an internationally recognised expert on the subject and one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s most trusted advisers. He was arrested in Myanmar in 2021 following the military coup and imprisoned for 650 days. Sean lives in Sydney with his wife, Ha Vu, who campaigned tirelessly for his release.

    Mick O'Regan is a journalist and broadcaster with more than two decades experience with the ABC and Seven Network.

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