Forces of Renewal in Southeast Asia ( is launching a podcast series entitled:

“Dissenting Voices Across Southeast Asia”

The podcast is hosted by Professor Michael W. Charney, Professor of Asian and Military History at SOAS, University of London and Member of the Board of Directors of FORSEA.

The goals of this series is to provide a space outside of face-to-face debates and unilateral exposes for deeper discussions about major challenges facing human security in the region and obstacles to democracy and free expression.

There is dissent, because the aforementioned goals are resisted or questioned by those who have power.

We pluralise voice because although there may be only two discernible sides on an issue at a general level, dissenters come to these positions from different intellectual and experiential trajectories.

In this inaugural conversation that ran on Facebook Live (see below), Michael W. Charney engaged in an hour’s conversation with Maung Zarni, a Burma scholar and activist who has been particularly involved in exploring the issues involved in the Genocide in Arakan, and in the Obstacles to a genuine Democratic transition in Burma as a whole.

Michael W. Charney and Maung Zarni explore:

    1. General prospect for peace and reconciliation, and end to the genocide of Rohingya people;
    2. The idea of genocide;
    3. The role of Buddhist monks, particularly Sitagu, in the genocide;
    4. Equality among ethnic groups in Myanmar or lack thereof;
    5. Economic prosperity in the country and in Arakan or Rakhine;
    6. The Arakan Army/United League for Arakan’s  progressive vision for Arakan that transcends race, faith and ethnicity, specifically Twan Mrat Naing, the revolutionary leader of the Arakan Army;
    7. An ideal solution in Arakan, autonomous state within genuinely federated Myanmar or Independent Arakan;
    8. The strength of Myanmar civil society and protection of freedom of expression; amd
    9. Myanmar – in 10 years’ time, against the New Cold War of US-China contest.



Posted by FORSEA