If there’s anything positive about the sprawling Rohingya refugee camps near Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, it’s that the residents – despite their appalling recent experiences and obvious deprivation – are at least safe here from Myanmar’s military. Read my article for The Conversation here.
Irish observers of the Rohingya refugee crisis will find disturbing similarities between Myanmar’s mistreatment of the Rohingya and formative aspects of Ireland’s own history. Read my article for Village Magazine here.
In Myanmar, Buddhist nationalist groups have used Facebook to swamp public opinion with anti-Muslim speech. As elected representatives are pressed to follow these extreme views, Myanmar is showing the world how unreined social media can hurt democracy. Read the article at AsiaGlobal Online here.
Kofi Annan’s advisory commission offered some sensible ways to tackle issues in Rakhine State, Ronan Lee writes, but will they be heard above the violence? Read the full article at PolicyForum.net here.
Here is a link to my latest article “The Dark Side of Liberalization” published in the journal Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09596410.2016.1159045
ABSTRACT: This article describes how divisive groups have taken advantage of Myanmar’s new political and media freedoms to pursue an agenda that will limit the civil and political rights of the country’s Muslim population. The article argues that enforcement of the four Protection of Race and Religion Laws will disadvantage Myanmar’s already politically marginalized Muslim residents by creating a de facto religious test for full Myanmar citizenship rights. The article examines both the positive and negative aspects of Myanmar’s liberalizations, the nature of the ‘Protection of Race and Religion’ legislative package and how this will interact with Myanmar’s citizenship laws.
‘It’s a genocide’, was the conclusion of two recent research reports about the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. Yet despite disturbing conclusions both reports have been criticised for their use of inflammatory language and their pre-election timing. Some argue the publication of a ‘genocide’ conclusion makes it harder to resolve the underlying causes of the Rohingya’s persecution. This article suggests these reports, despite the criticisms, highlight a human rights tragedy that needs to be publicised but that solving this tragedy must involve going beyond labels. Instead, a resolution and peace require working with both major ethnic communities in Rakhine State. Read my full article at E-IR here: http://www.e-ir.info/2016/01/24/reports-on-genocide-in-myanmar-highlight-the-need-for-change/
New article by me and Dr Anthony Ware about how tapping into the reserves of goodwill that still exist in Rakhine State could be key to ending the Rohingya conflict. Article available at The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/Reserves of goodwill-new-leaders-could-end-rohingya-conflict-by-tapping-into-reserves-of-goodwill-51465
Very happy to have delivered a paper at the recent International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies at Chiang Mai University ‘Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges’.
My paper, “Holding Back the Tide: Can Myanmar’s Democratic Political Leaders Prevent a de facto Religious Test for Full Citizenship Rights?” addressed the rise of Buddhist nationalism, discriminatory government policies and how I believe this is changing the nature of Myanmar citizenship. It was part of the Ethnic Politics and Minorities panel, chaired by Dr Jacques Leider, with Dr Matthew Walton acting as discussant.
Dr Daw Khin Mar Mar Kyi and Derina Johnson @Derina_Johnson were discussants in the panel Crossing Frontiers: Multiplication of Burmese Migration in Asia.
More details about the conference including links to draft conference papers can be found here.