LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA

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Editorial

Taking to the streets

Our eyes have remained mostly pinned on events unfolding in the streets of Myanmar’s cities, as youth-led activists protest the coup. On this topic we have not one, not two, but three in-depth features. First up is Wanpen Pajai in Bangkok, herself part of Thailand’s own pro-democracy movement, as she sees how Myanmar is slotting in to the Milk Tea Alliance. We also have features from Kiana Duncan and Allegra Mendelson, the former looking at how we can hit the pockets of Myanmar’s military without hurting citizens, while the latter looking at where the Rohingya stand in all this. Enjoy!

February 13, 2021
Taking to the streets

In Cambodia, this village shows even the wealthy are vulnerable to land grabbing

In my latest article, I went across the Mekong here in Phnom Penh to investigate a case that neatly ties together some of Cambodia’s worst themes: Unchecked environmental exploitation, weak civil protections for land rights, tycoon-driven development and official corruption. Click the link and take a trip with me to the banks of the Mekong to see these in action.

Digital generation meets 8888 as activists band against Myanmar military

New Globe reporter Allegra Mendelson had only just gotten out of a new-arrival quarantine when the coup struck, and she’s been running hard ever since! While today’s plugged-in protestors in Myanmar face a new world to that of their predecessors in the ill-fated 1988 movement, their military adversaries remain much the same. Allegra connected past and present here to learn more about the intergenerational democracy movement.

Junta to junta: As Milk Tea Alliance brews in Myanmar, how far can it go?

Really interesting article here from our own Wanpen Pajai in Thailand. The youth in Myanmar had watched Thailand’s energetic democracy movement hit the streets for most of last year to push back against military control of the government. Now, those resisting the coup in Myanmar imported some of the tactics and style from their neighbours to face their own orchestrators of the coup. Wanpen spoke to activists and scholars about the intertwined nature of the protests on both sides of the border to ask a vital question — in a global struggle for democracy, how far can the Milk Tea Alliance go?

How to squeeze Myanmar’s military without hurting its people

New Globe reporter Kiana Duncan also hit the ground running with her in-depth coverage of the coup. In her latest, Kiana examined the sticky question of sanctions: How much is enough, and how best to hit the perpetrators of the coup without collateral damage to vulnerable people. As the international community weighs its options in responding to the military takeover in Myanmar, they’d do well to read this article. Click the link to do the same.

I witnessed the Cambodian political miracle in 1991 – we need another today

After the war ends, how can we build true peace? In this striking editorial, political researcher and Globe contributor Sek Sophal tells part of the story of his early childhood, when shells fired by Khmer Rouge soldiers set his village ablaze. From that dramatic beginning soon came an end to outright fighting in Cambodia. But as Sophal writes today, peace must mean more than absence of war. This is a bold commentary worth your time.

‘It’s a façade’: As military makes overtures, what’s next for the Rohingya?

Allegra doubled up this week! In this piece published today, she got a view into the complex feelings of Rohingya people as they watch a coup orchestrated by a Myanmar military that massacred them, against a government that defended such atrocities before the world. Myanmar’s ethnic minorities have long experienced a brutal relationship with the Burmese state and its military, but the threat of losing the diverse country’s fledgling democracy has brought them together in unexpected ways. Some very brave people lent their voices to make this article happen, and I think you’ll find it quite meaningful. 

J&T protest reveals Malaysians’ lack of empathy for low-wage workers

Despite J&T workers apologising for throwing packages around, the public’s condemning reaction in Malaysia has demonstrated a lack of empathy for low-wage workers in the face of economic hardship, the pandemic and low-wage exploitation.

Meet the top 10 young Cambodians shaping the Kingdom’s future

The Focus Cambodia team has picked ten figures from Cambodia’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders that are shaping the future of the Kingdom through digital innovation, environmental responsibility, and community building.

On Bali, Ubud’s macaques adapt as tourist bananas disappear

The pandemic has seen monkeys overrun cities in India and Thailand in search of food as tourism comes to a halt. But in Ubud, the macaques of Monkey Forest are adapting well to this new reality, with local residents seeing less aggressive and destructive behaviour.



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