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One year on from the military coup in Myanmar, what comes next?

On 1 February 2021, Myanmar’s Armed Forces, also known as the Tatmadaw, launched a coup seizing power from the democratically elected and incumbent government, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The military takeover occurred just hours before the newly elected parliament was scheduled to convene, dashing hopes for democratic progress in the country. Soldiers and paramilitary police met the nationwide protests that followed with killings, torture, abductions and mutilation of bodies.

The violence has precipitated an armed uprising the likes of which Myanmar has not hitherto seen, with urban guerrillas targeting local police and administrators, government offices and state-owned companies. A government in exile has declared war on the junta, which has shown precious few signs of willingness for compromise. Meanwhile, confidence has collapsed in the country’s formal economy and currency, while all the while coronavirus has spread and caused the deaths of untold numbers of people.

Can newly formed armed resistance to dictatorship in Myanmar dislodge the country’s military from government where unarmed opposition has failed? What are the prospects for the exiled National Unity Government? Whither the NLD? What, if anything, can other governments and international organisations do?

Co-organised by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) and the Australian National University (ANU) Myanmar Research Centre, this event will invite panellists to reflect on the politics, law and current affairs of Myanmar before and after the coup, and what can be expected in the near future.

Please note that by registering for this event, you will automatically be subscribed to the SSEAC mailing list. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss accessibility requirements, please feel free to email: sseac@sydney.edu.au.

Feb 2, 2022 12:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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Catherine Renshaw
Professor @Western Sydney University
Dr Catherine Renshaw is Professor in the School of Law at Western Sydney University. She has written widely about the theory, policy and practice of human rights in Southeast Asia. Some of her recent publications include Human Rights and Participatory Politics in Southeast Asia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), ‘Myanmar’s Genocide and the Legacy of Forgetting’ (Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2020) and ‘Southeast Asia’s human rights institutions and the inconsistent power of human rights’ (Journal of Human Rights, 2021). Her research has been funded by the Community of Democracies, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Rotary International. She has facilitated human rights training for government officials and professional bodies around the world and carried out fieldwork in several countries in Southeast Asia. She is a regular contributor to the media on human rights matters.
Nick Cheesman
Dr @Australian National University
Nick Cheesman is a Senior Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and Director of the ANU Myanmar Research Centre. His work is concerned generally with how language animates actions, how categories determine meanings, and how ideas constitute practices. His 'Myanmar: A Political Lexicon', is forthcoming with the Cambridge Elements series. In his spare time he hosts the New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science series for the New Books Network.
David Thang Moe
Mr @Asbury Theological Seminary
David Thang Moe is a PhD candidate in historical-theological studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, USA (originally from Mindat, Chin State of Myanmar currently under martial law). His research focuses on the politics of Buddhist nationalism, ethnic identity conflict, public theology of religions, liberation, and reconciliation in Southeast Asia. He is the author of a book ‘Pyithu-Dukkha Theology’ (2017) and has published several scholarly articles in encyclopedia, edited books, and academic journals. He also has contributed analysis of Burmese politics of religious and ethnic conflict for academic and popular audience in the Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, University of Notre Dame’s Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, and others. He serves on the editorial teams of four academic journals.
Moe Thuzar
Ms @ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
Ms Moe Thuzar is a Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, where she co-coordinates the ISEAS Myanmar Studies Programme. She was previously a lead researcher at the Institute's ASEAN Studies Centre. She joined ISEAS in 2008, after ten years at the ASEAN Secretariat, heading the Human Development Unit in her last three years there. Moe has contributed to several compendia/volumes on ASEAN, and on Myanmar, and has authored several articles on both topics. A former diplomat, Moe is researching the socio-cultural underpinnings of Burma’s Cold War foreign policy for her PhD dissertation.