After Aung San Suu Kyi’s much anticipated recent press conference on the Rohingya issue, her first, since the crackdown of the Myanmar Military in Rakhine State, the Amnesty International in a typical example of international outrage has accused Suu Kyi and her government of being in denial of reality. So what is the on-the-ground reality? Is the Nobel Laureate as oblivious of human rights violations as is being touted, as unconscious in her acceptance of her Burman privilege as she has historically been alleged to be or has she instituted any Rules of Law at strategic points of Myanmar’s ethnic alliance graph which might prove otherwise? A re-look at Aung San Suu Kyi’s political and moral leadership seen through the lens of three other strong female thinkers Ludu Daw Amar, Khin Myo Chit and Ma Thida.
The talk will be accompanied by the launch of the Burmese translation of Nilanjana Sengupta’s book, The Female Voice of Myanmar: Khin Myo Chit to Aung San Suu Kyi, Cambridge University Press.
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Medical Doctor, Author, Human rights activist and Former prisoner of conscience.
Ma Thida is a medical doctor, author, human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. She currently edits a Burmese magazine, Shwe Amyutay and a bi-weekly journal, Info Digest; and also volunteers at a free clinic run by a local NGO. In October 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for "endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organizations, and distributing unlawful literature." But in 1999, she was released due to declining health, increasing political pressure and the efforts of organizations like Amnesty International and PEN International. She has been awarded several international human rights awards, including the Reebok Human Rights Award (1996), the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (1996), Freedom of Speech Award(2011) and Vaclav Havel’s Disturbing the Peace: Courageous Writer at Risk Award (2016) . From 2008 to 2010, she lived in the US as Fellow at the International Writers Project of Brown University and as Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. She was the very first elected president of PEN Myanmar (2013-16) and has also been elected as a board member of PEN International since 2016 October.... Read More
Lead Researcher, ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and an ISEAS Fellow.
Moe Thuzar is Lead Researcher (socio-cultural) at the ASEAN Studies Centre of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, and an ISEAS Fellow. She is concurrently co-coordinator of the Myanmar Studies Programme at ISEAS. Prior to joining ISEAS, she headed the Human Development Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat. At ISEAS, she has co-authored “Myanmar: Life After Nargis” with Pavin Chachavalpongpun (ISEAS:2009), and co-edited “Urbanisation in Southeast Asia: Issues and Impacts” with Yap Kioe Sheng (ISEAS:2012). Moe has contributed extensively to compendia and edited volumes on ASEAN and on Myanmar. Under her ASEAN research, Moe monitors regional integration moves under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. Her research focus for 2017-18 is on migration issues, and climate change/environmental cooperation in ASEAN. For Myanmar, Moe monitors Myanmar's ongoing transition issues, and was involved in advising Myanmar's ASEAN chairmanship in 2014. A former diplomat, she is researching Burma/Myanmar's post-World War II diplomatic history for her PhD. ... Read More