Japan’s rivalry with China reinforces Tokyo’s inclination to avert its eyes from human rights abuses, electoral fraud, corruption and suppression of fundamental freedoms. Tokyo is not opposed to liberal democracy but also not prepared to risk anything to support it.
The struggle for racial, political and economic justice in Southeast Asia is a fight for a genuinely postcolonial condition, and its establishment is implied in each protest against authoritarian ambitions. If colonialism made the modern world, then decolonisation will not be complete until the world – including Southeast Asia – is reimagined.
FORSEA Supports Joint Statement on Myanmar by Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and Progressive Voice
People from the whole country who are taking part in peaceful demonstrations are facing violations of their basic human rights. This includes arbitrary arrests and charges, threats, the use of indiscriminate violence such as intentionally shooting into the crowd, beatings, the use of weapons, rubber bullets and water cannons, and restrictions on their freedom of expression.
Same-sex practices in Aceh traditionally were not seen in contradiction with local customs (adat) and religion. It is ironic that in Aceh today, homophobic political and religious officials voice opinions that would be more intelligible to the condescending Dutch colonizers than to Aceh’s elite circles a century ago.
Ahmed has been involved in several projects with human rights organizations and NGOs in Egypt as a vocal human rights defender. Ahmed's case is the latest in a series of cases of students being harassed and forcefully detained by Egyptian authorities.
In their one-hour discussion, Pavin Chachavalpongpun and Maung Zarni, the Thai and Burmese exiles who co-founded FORSEA, draw lessons from the two countries’ vicious cycles of military coups – going back almost a century, in the case of the Kingdom of Thailand and six-decades in the case of post-colonial Myanmar.
Myanmar has just made headlines with its coup. Thailand and Myanmar are no strangers to coups. For almost a century, Thailand has been locked in a vicious cycle of military coups. Its counterpart in Myanmar, the Tatmadaw, has also been playing king and kingmaker alternately since the late 1950’s.
The Dialogue on Democratic Struggles Across Southeast Asia will shed light on how Myanmar’s Big Lie – democratic transition / “fragile democracy" – has gained currency worldwide over the last 10 years since Myanmar military rolled out its constitutional government lead by ex-general Thein Sein in 2010.