The people’s game

This week we take a rare delve into the world of sport as we profile the 'national football team' of the Karen ethnic group in Myanmar. A member of CONIFA, an alternative football body whose members consist of unrecognised states and separatists movements, it showcases the ability of football, and sport generally, to provide a platform for the voiceless. We also look at how Southeast Asia's indigenous forest communities could play a role in preventing the next pandemic, as well as how Facebook is influencing the spread of 'fake news' in Myanmar during lockdown.

May 11, 2020
The people’s game

Once a safe haven, anti-Rohingya sentiment in Malaysia is growing

Malaysia, once a safe haven for thousands of Rohingya, is witnessing a shift in attitude towards the persecuted and displaced minority group from Myanmar. Fuelled by misinformation and government rhetoric, anti-Rohingya sentiment is growing online.

Poetry from Singapore’s migrant worker dorms: ‘First Draft’

The conditions for 20,000 migrant workers in Singapore’s migrant worker dormitories has made headlines in the city-state in recent weeks. Bangladeshi writer Zakir Hossain Khokan offers his insight in the form of a poem on life for those inside.

Amnesty International: Cambodia’s war on drugs an ‘unmitigated disaster’

In 2017 Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a crackdown on narcotics in the Kingdom. Three years on, rights group Amnesty International says the campaign has been a failure, resulting in rampant rights abuses and overcrowded prisons.

Did China turn off the Lower Mekong? Why data matters for cooperation

Recent reports claim definitive proof that the 2019/20 Mekong drought was caused by China – they do not according to researchers at AMPERES. Will the controversial analysis further polarise stakeholders, or could the crisis shift regional cooperation into more productive spaces?

Karen national football team playing for victory away from home

In the US state of Minnesota, the newly established Karen Football Association is aiming to provide a platform to promote the struggles of the ethnic group back in Myanmar, as well as foster a sense of community and identity for future generations in their new home.

Pandemic perspectives from the US

The US has soared ahead to become the world leader in both Covid-19 cases and deaths. We hear from Cambodian diaspora living across the country about the multitude of ways the virus is impacting their lives. 

How protecting forests and their communities can prevent the next outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic highlights how human health is intimately connected to animal and ecosystem wellbeing. As we reassess our relationship with nature, researchers say we must empower those best positioned to protect forests – local communities.

Facebook: The cause of and solution to Myanmar’s fake news problem?

Long closed off to the world, free engagement with the internet for Myanmar’s citizens only began in the past decade. Today, media literacy remains low and fake news abounds on social media platforms like Facebook – but there are companies working to change that. 

My experience as Singapore’s Covid-19 case number 862

Unknowingly contracting and spreading Covid-19 to loved ones is a fear many among us carry. So when Singaporean citizen Reuben Lim tested positive in March with virtually no symptoms, the thought he had put his family at risk was a guilt he struggled to process.



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