(Mizzima) – Another sign of the opening media space in Burma: Dr. Thant Myint-U’s River of Lost Footsteps has been translated into Burmese and is scheduled for release this month in Rangoon.
The book is one of an expected flood of books popular in the West that have never been translated in Burmese and printed in Burma.
A publisher told The Myanmar Times in an article on Monday that he wanted to translate the works of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama, which were banned in the past.
The English-language edition of Thant Myint-U’s Where China Meets India — which highlights Burma’s geopolitical role between China and India — is available at Myanmar Book Centre in Ahlone Township.
“Over the next couple of decades or so, Myanmar will be fundamentally remade, for better or worse, from being an isolated backwater, a dead-end, to being a crossroads between China and India and between China and the Bay of Bengal,” Thant Myint-U, the maternal grandson of the late U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, told the The Myanmar Times.
“Nothing is more important for the future of the Myanmar people than being able to manage this new role, which is wholly different from any role Myanmar has played in the past,” he said. “It is only by looking at our own history, but also the history of eastern India and the history of southwest China, that we can see clearly the incredible significance of this present moment.”
His thesis is that for thousands of years, the frontier of Chinese civilization has moved steadily to the southwest. “This could be an extremely good thing or a bad thing, depending on how well our leadership understands the challenges and seeks to manage them,” he said.
Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, chairman of Myanmar Book Centre, told the newspaper: “During the process of democratization, readers should have more access to political and history books, which are very helpful. “I’ve heard that the censorship system will be reformed after the [April 1] by-election, by permitting books to be imported without being read by censors. We just need to register the books we import.”
“In River of Lost in Footsteps, Dr. Thant Myint-U portrays Myanmar history but also carries out a comparative study of other histories. He writes about what happened in Myanmar in 1988,” he said.
U Myo Aung, a publisher at Green bookstore, said he expected to be able to import books about Suu Kyi very soon, and articles about her in Time, Newsweek and Reader’s Digest are no longer censored. Suu Kyi’s books, such as Freedom from Fear and Letters from Burma are easily understandable to common people in Burma, who for the most part have never had a chance to read them in Burmese, he said.