Mya Maung, Member of Finance Faculty for
32 Years, Dies

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Prof. Mya Maung (CSOM), a longtime member of the Finance faculty and an outspoken advocate of democratic reform in his native Burma, died Dec. 17 at Metro West Medical Center in Natick after suffering a heart attack. He was 65.

A 32-year member of the Finance Department, Maung was an expert on the social, economic and political history of Burma.

His books included the recently published The Burma Road to Capitalism: Economic Growth Versus Democracy , as well as Totalitarianism in Burma: Prospects for Economic Development ; The Burma Road to Poverty , and Burma and Pakistan: A Comparative Study in Development . He also authored articles in the popular press.

In 1991, Maung was invited to participate in the ceremony at which Burmese dissident Daw Aung San was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Maung was a vocal critic of the Burmese dictatorship he viewed as having led his once prosperous native country to political and economic devastation.

"The military rulers' relentless control of not only the life of the people but also the natural resources has been and will be the hardest problem of economic development confronting Burma," Maung wrote in 1993.

He was among 200 international leaders invited by former President Jimmy Carter in 1993 to participate in a conflict-resolution program in Atlanta, at which Maung called for an embargo on Burma until its military rulers ceded power to the winners of a multi-party democratic election.

After graduating from the University of Rangoon, Maung left Burma in the late 1950s to study at the University of Michigan and earn a doctorate at Catholic University. He returned in 1961 as head of the economics department at Burma's national military academy. In 1963, a year after a military coup, Maung again left Burma following disagreements with his superiors over what he could and could not teach under the new regime.

In addition to his work at BC, Maung was a visiting fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii and at the London School of Economics.

He leaves a daughter, Melanie, of Wellesley; two sons, Michael, of Wellesley, and Christopher, of Natick; and a brother, Shwe Mya of Burma.

A campus memorial service has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. in Gasson 100.

Return to Jan. 21 menu

Return to Chronicle home page