Held Hostage: National values, diplomacy and friendship

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The 2023 Plimsoll Lecture by Australian economist, and political prisoner Dr Sean Turnell.

Even before Sean Turnell spent 650 days of wrongful imprisonment in Myanmar, his story was remarkable.

From humble working-class beginnings in the suburbs of Sydney, Sean followed his humanitarian heart and become a world-class expert on the Burmese economy, believing that the right economic policies could provide prosperity for its suffering people. It was this reputation and philosophy that led him to becoming the economic advisor of Myanmar’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Three days after Suu Kyi was deposed in a military coup and arrested, Sean was placed in solitary confinement by armed military police under fabricated charges. During his long imprisonment in Myanmar, friends, fellow economists, institutions, and governments from around the world rallied together in a remarkable campaign for his release.

Join Dr Sean Turnell for the 2023 Plimsoll lecture, and listen to his extraordinary story of hope, resilience, and the power of friends. What unfolds in this conversation will be more than just personal reflections, but also deep insights into the dynamics of international relations, the role of civil society, and the power of unity in promoting democratic values worldwide.

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