Elliot Prasse-Freeman discusses research on his Rohingya political subjectivity amidst dislocation and mass violence.Continue Reading →
From “Open Letter to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi” written by Burmese activists: “Given the memory of your father and the supreme leadership position that you now hold in the country, we are appealing to you to draw a firm line based on democratic principles and human compassion. Burmese society is sleep-walking into the abyss of racial hatred and religious bigotry. The violence against the Rohingya must end. Whatever the crimes of the militants, it is wrong to kill innocent villagers – men, women, and children, in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, especially in Rakhine. You have a moral obligation to act.”Continue Reading →
It is a truism that anti-authoritarian movements and organizations tend to mirror their opponents in thinking, modes of operation and political practices, and especially to become intolerant of any view that differs from that of the leadership. And indeed, in Burma’s case, the choice to elevate Aung San Suu Kyi to the status of icon for democracy has had important and potentially fatal limitations, for both the domestic and international components of the democracy campaign.Continue Reading →
Naypyitaw, the new capital of Myanmar, is built on a monumental scale. Nowhere is this truer than in the buildings of the legislature.
The hall of the House of Nationalities—one of the two chambers of the parliament—is grandiose. It is entirely public space: halls, corridors, meeting rooms, banqueting rooms, staircases. There are few […]Continue Reading →
The coincidence of two news items about Burma/Myanmar today demand brief commentary: 1) International Crisis Group is honoring President U Thein Sein at its annual dinner, and 2) Human Rights Watch released a damning report about assaults against Burma’s Rohingya minority.
The most common way that atrocities against civilians end is when the perpetrators themselves […]Continue Reading →
A theme that recurred throughout the seminar was the distinction between two kinds of activism: one, principled solidarity with the people affected, pursuing solutions that they themselves define; and two, advocacy for a U.S. (or other western nation) policy response, that frequently defines success in terms of adopting a policy, rather than resolving the situation in the country concerned.Continue Reading →
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