Episode 83 - Aung San Suu Kyi's Unlikely Lifeline


Here's the complete program for your listening pleasure including the following stories:

*Aung San Suu Kyi's Radio Pal
*Green Grabbing
*Euro Cup vs Euro Economies
*Summer Hits Around The Globe
*Should I Read It - Summer Reads
*Kate Bornstein's A Queer and Pleasant Danger

Aung San22222_publish.jpg"My country today stands at the start of a journey towards, I hope, a better future."

Those are the words of democracy activist and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she spoke in Britain this week for the first time in 24 years. She lived in Oxford, England until 1988 when she returned to Burma to attend to her sick mother.

Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest by the military dictatorship of Burma and constrained for the better part of two decades. Her release and clearance to travel and accept the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991 are evidence of a liberalization in Burma. World pressure, combined with Suu Kyi's non-violent protest, yielded a break-through.  It's a stirring story - but who would have thought it would involve a hairy cornflake?

BBC World_publish.jpgAung San Suu Kyi revealed that while under house arrest, she listened to a DJ on the BBC World Service by the name of Dave Lee Travis, who is also known by his nickname "the hairy cornflake". His radio program A Jolly Good Show isn't the kind of broadcast you'd expect to change world events. But it made a difference for Aung San Suu Kyi and this week Dave Travis got to meet her in person. He tells us his tale.

rio111111_publish.jpgGreen Grabbing

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio Plus 20 ended on Friday amid criticism of its effectiveness as a tool for sustainability. The conference was supposed to tackle poverty and the depletion of the natural world.

Professor Melissa Leach is the director of the STEPS Centre at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. She was at RIO22222_publish.jpgRio with a counter-intuitive warning about a potential dark side to the rush towards a green economy. 
The popularity of carbon-trading, bio-fuels and eco-tourism has led to a re-purposing of vast tracts of land and resources. The valuations of these properties change as their program is shifted away from traditional uses to environmental functions.  It's been dubbed "Green Grabbing".
RIO333333_publish.jpgOf particular concern is the purchase of territories to function as carbon credits in carbon trading markets. Melissa Leach explains.
"In 2008 in Liberia, which is a very forested place, a UK company called Carbon Harvesting Corporation proposed a new carbon contract for 400,000 hectares of rainforest which had previously been used for hunting, gathering and fallow lands by local people who also went into the forest because it had cultural value to them.
"This new deal specified that all local rights over local resources would be extinguished.
"This particular contract left the proportion of carbon sale prices that would go to the government entirely unspecified. That's the kind of deal that's being enacted at the moment. That's a green grab."
Leach says it's a form of neo-colonialism. When a territory is ceded in a green grab, it can damage or exclude the traditional relationships between the land and the people who lived on it for centuries. Green grabbing also monetizes parts of the environment that were previously never involved with the global economy. Melissa Leach joins us.


EURO2012_publish.jpgEurocup 2012

Europe may be in crisis but it's also enthralled by football. There's an old idea that historical wrongs can be redressed by a football game, so why not financial differences?

Greece and Germany are different worlds financially - but on the pitch the odds were closer to even (though Germany won decisively). In sports, there's a symbolic adjustment to the Realpolitik and everyone enjoys it.

It's more than a metaphor. While debtor nations are pounding each other at the Eurocup, the games have an effect on domestic markets. A loss can have a measurable impact on a country's economy.

We're talking football and the markets on Day 6.

titica_publish.jpgSummer Jams

Every summer there's a new song that - years in the future - will be emblematic of all the memories of that one season. Of course it's all subjective but if you were alive in the summer of 2000 you heard - and way more than once - Faith Hill sing Breathe. In 2005 it was My Place by Nelly. Lady Gaga's Alejandro was the ear worm of August 2010.

Carly Rae Jepsen may well have dibs on the song of the summer of 2012, but there's still time for a challenger.

Summer songs are a phenomenon right around the world. Music critic Jonathan Bogart compiled a list of some of the most compelling summer jams from from Angola to South Korea. He gave us a taste.

SIRI_publish.jpgShould I Read It - Summer

Books pile up during the year and the best time to polish them off is when you can drag them outside, put on your shades and dig in.

If you're planning your holidays and thinking about what you'll be reading at home, at the cottage or beyond, Becky Toyne can help. She does our regular books segment: Should I Read It.

Today it's the summer reads edition. Fire up the Kindle and you're ready for the hammock.

Kate_Bornstein-FINAL_publish.jpgA Queer and Pleasant Danger

One of the most charming and fascinating people we've welcomed to Day 6 is on this week's show.

Writer, gender activist, performer Kate Bornstein used to be a high ranking Scientologist who sailed with L. Ron Hubbard on his ship, the Apollo. She says she was trusted with large transactions of the church's capital. But she was excommunicated by Scientology, cut off from her family bornstein_book_publish.jpgand eventually changed her gender.

Her new book A Queer and Pleasant Danger is full of insight and an overall hopefulness that you'll hear in her voice when you listen to our conversation. Kate is great. 

And that's our show on the first weekend after the Summer solstice. Just so you know, Day 6 will be here throughout July and August, so don't make any radical changes in your summer routines.  Keep it dialed in. Summer's just starting and there's lots more to come.  

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

Subscribe to the podcast: Day 6 from CBC Radio


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