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In February, Myanmar’s military staged a coup after alleging electoral fraud in the country’s 2020 elections and arresting elected leaders. In doing so, it ended a period of democratic reform that had transformed Myanmar’s landscape post-2010. The military has since embarked on a brutal campaign, committing over 4000 arrests and over 800 deaths. These actions have led to mass protests across the country and the formation of a parallel government by exiled leaders. Myanmar faces ongoing political instability, a crippled economy, and an escalating humanitarian emergency. Furthermore, this political crisis takes shape amidst a historical backdrop of wealth inequality, undereducation, and ethnic divisions. Located at the heart of Asia, Myanmar’s situation also presents a concern for regional stability.
What are the political and economic implications of Myanmar’s situation? What role can the region and international community play in addressing the crisis? What human security issues do the people face? This Spotlight will feature Dr Htwe Htwe Thein and Dr Jie Chen—who bring in-country and regional perspectives on Myanmar—and will be chaired by Dr Chris Lin. The event will also pay homage to Burmese writers who have been detained or killed during the protests by featuring readings of their work.
Presented by PEN Perth.