Category: Opinion

The latest opinion from those committed to making our region fair, just and democratic.


Media Continues to Orientalize “Buddhist Myanmar”

Add “Buddhist Terror” to the standard duo of Sex/Scandal and War/Violence as the media angle that sells. Yet unlike these, “Buddhist Terror” is rooted in the distorted invention of Buddhism and Buddhists as peaceful (vis-à-vis Islam and Muslims as violent). This is so deeply troubling with mainstream media picking up the old trend – Orientalizing hatred and racism in non-Europe, non-Christian spaces, in Wirathu’s case, “Buddhist” Myanmar.

/ September 8, 2021

States and state-controlled Universities in Southeast Asia

FORSEA Dialogue calls for cross-border cooperation among concerned scholars to foster "counter-spaces" for intellectual freedom which is a pillar of an autonomous civil society.

/ September 6, 2021

The Closing of the Young Minds of Southeast Asia: Post-colonial Universities in the Service of Autocratic States

Two leading scholars of Southeast Asia – Thongchai Winichakul, Emeritus Professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michael W. Charney, Professor of Military History and Southeast Asian Histories at SOAS University of London – will share their professional perspectives on the ways in which higher education in the region has been misused and manipulated to promote what Michael W. Charney calls “State-Think”.

/ September 3, 2021

U.S. & Brazilian Religious Rights: Their Political Impact, Worldviews, Connections, and Love for Dictatorships

Staffers of the largest freethinking group in the United States have interviewed the author of a new book comparing the evangelical movements in the United States and Brazil.

/ September 1, 2021

US and UK Usurp Rohingya Voices while (mis-)framing Myanmar Genocide as “Ethnic Cleansing” Slobodan Milošević Euphemism

it’s one thing for the United States and its British poodle to abandon dissidents worldwide during their hours of needs, yet it is a moral low for the British and American officials and leaders to coordinate acts of genocidal denial as they have done with their official statements on the 4th anniversary of “Ethnic Cleansing” in Rakhine State.  

/ August 28, 2021

Transnational Activism vs White Saviourism in Myanmar Affairs

As a Burmese who has been angry – very angry – for decades over numerous forms and countless instances of oppression and injustices in Myanmar, and emphatically, around the world, I am less concerned about the morally corrupt desire of revenge and vengeance of the oppressed towards their oppressor or the System than the enveloping White Saviourism with its corrupting coloniality.

/ August 18, 2021

State-Think and the Problem with University Education in Post-Colonial Societies

This closing up of genuine intellectual counter-spaces marks the critical moment when universities go from saying this is what the state wishes to teach you, to this is what the state limits your understanding to be. And they cancel the contracts for books, reject inviting talks by scholars, and ignore work that shows a different way to view one or another of the societies in the region.

/ August 8, 2021

From #BlackLivesMatter to Burmese and Kachin Liberation: An interview with Hkun Htoi

"The Kachin people are like Black people in some parts of the world. We have been facing all forms of systemic discrimination from the government that is supposed to protect us, especially the majority of Burmese nationalists in the Kachin case. For me, Burmese nationalism is very similar to white supremacy ideologies. The Black population around the world is thousands of times bigger than the Kachin population in Burma, so...

/ August 4, 2021

FORSEA Co-founder offers his no-hold-barred view of the Myanmar terrorist regime renaming itself “Caretaker”

The coup regime's latest move to reinvent itself as "Caretaker" government is the vicious repeat of the pattern of deceiving Myanmar public which began with General Ne Win intervening in electoral politics in September 1958 – under the same "Caretaker Government" label.

/ August 2, 2021

The Misuses of Histories and Historiography by the state in Myanmar: The Case of Rakhine and Rohingya

Some look to find solutions in holding Myanmar to account through international law regarding what the Myanmar military has done to Rohingya. That is what they can do. I am not a lawyer, but a historian. When I look at Myanmar, I am trying to unravel the ways in which religious haters in the country misuse history to legitimate what they do.

/ July 29, 2021