Hope, Despair and the New Normal in Myanmar

*This article first appeared in The Interpreter on 9 May 2019.  Human rights advocates had a rare chance to celebrate yesterday as two local Reuters journalists were released from prison. Their situation is viewed by the international community as a test case of the political reform process in Myanmar. The case is a remind of the mixedContinue reading “Hope, Despair and the New Normal in Myanmar”

Myanmar’s press freedom mirage

Note: This article was first published on 20 November 2018 at The Interpreter here. It has been a bad year for press freedom across Southeast Asia. Myanmar has been no exception. Media freedom fell to new lows this month as a self-proclaimed anti-Rohingya supporter, American Rick Heizman, was welcomed with open arms in Myanmar. Heizman, a little-known musician andContinue reading “Myanmar’s press freedom mirage”

Elections a sham in Rakhine State

Note: This article was first published here at The Interpreter (Lowy Institute) on 1 November 2018 People go to the polls on Saturday in Myanmar, or at least some of them do. On 3 November 2018, the Union Election Commission will coordinate by-elections across 13 electorates. Most are to fill seats from vacancies due to deaths of senior membersContinue reading “Elections a sham in Rakhine State”

Seminar at Jentera Law School

On 2 November 2017 I visited Jentera Law School, a new law school that began in 2014 based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jentera Law School has a young and vibrant faculty with strong connections to key law reform and policy institutes, including the Centre for the Study of Law and Policy (PSHK), Hukumonline, and the Daniel SContinue reading “Seminar at Jentera Law School”

Arson, exclusion and exodus

ANU Seminar on Rakhine State Tuesday 3 October 2017Location: Lecture Theatre 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANUMyanmar has made global headlines in recent weeks due to the flight of almost half a million self-identifying Rohingya to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. The exodus follows attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) against Myanmar police outposts inContinue reading “Arson, exclusion and exodus”

The Convenience of Terrorism in Myanmar

This article first appeared in Lowy’s Institute The Interpreter, 12 September 2017. The major and protracted humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State has serious local, regional and global implications. Many have rightly deplored the human rights situation and called for urgent humanitarian assistance while the world has become preoccupied with the silence of Aung San Suu Kyi and herContinue reading “The Convenience of Terrorism in Myanmar”

Reining in Emergency Powers in Myanmar

This article first appeared in the East Asia Forum, 3 November 2016 In October 2016 serious concerns were raised about the situation in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State after reports surfaced that nine police officers had been killed in the region. But the state’s precarious situation continues to be shrouded in mystery. Speculation over the motives of the perpetrators andContinue reading “Reining in Emergency Powers in Myanmar”