Filtering by: Myanmar
 The Rohingya: Statelessness, Refugeehood and a 'Subhuman' Life
Oct
21
12:15 PM12:15

The Rohingya: Statelessness, Refugeehood and a 'Subhuman' Life

Considering the intensity of atrocity committed by the state forces in Myanmar, Rohingyas have been dealt with as if they are not human beings. Now, they are ‘struggling for existence’ in Bangladesh having an obscured past, critical present and an uncertain future. The Rohingyas belong to no state as Myanmar stripped of their citizenship four decades ago and Bangladesh does not recognize them even as refugees.

In this talk, Nasir Uddin, a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh, will present the current states of Rohingya in the Borderland of Bangladesh and Myanmar within the broader spectrum of statelessness, refugeehood and “subhuman life”.  

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Film Screening: On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship
Nov
9
9:00 PM21:00

Film Screening: On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship

US PREMIERE: In 2016, 50 years of military rule in Myanmar ended when power was transferred to former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. While her ascendancy represented a victory for democracy, she came under fire after military involvement in the ethnic cleansing of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority. Archival footage and candid interview access to Aung San Suu Kyi and other key players in the government provide a wide-ranging look into the troubling complications and compromises of a regime change decades in the making.

Expected to attend: Director Karen Stokkendal Poulsen

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The Voices of the Victims: The Rohingyas and their “Subhuman” Life
Sep
10
6:15 PM18:15

The Voices of the Victims: The Rohingyas and their “Subhuman” Life

  • International Affairs Building, Columbia University, Room 802 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Accounts gathered by Nasir Uddin from the Rohingyas living in Ukhia and Teknaf unfold the horrible ways they were dealt with as if they were lesser than human beings what Uddin terms “subhuman” life. This talk presents the first-hand narratives of the Rohingya refugees, the voices of the victims, in the broader spectrum of statelessness, refugeehood and human rights in the world.

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The Rohingya Genocide: A Panel Discussion
May
21
6:30 PM18:30

The Rohingya Genocide: A Panel Discussion

  • Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel, 3041 Broadway New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Please join us for an evening of presentation and discussion concerning the history and development of the Rohingya humanitarian tragedy in Myanmar and the resulting refugee crisis. The evening’s conversation will focus on the causes and conditions of the crisis along with the role that Buddhist laity and monastic communities have played in the rhetoric and violence. Led by an esteemed guest panel, this open discussion will hopefully bring a better understanding to the situation and identify compassionate ways of seeking justice and delivering relief to those who are suffering.

The panelists for the event are:

  • Khin Mai Aung, US Coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition

  • Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, Author of “The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar's Hidden Genocide”

  • Adem Carroll, New York and UN Program Director of the Burma Task Force

  • Ashley Aye Aye Dun, Writer and Founder of Saddha: Buddhists For Peace

To register for the event, click here.

HOSTED BY:

  • The Buddhist Action Coalition

  • Buddhist Council of New York

  • The Union Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism

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Time and Kinship: Rebirth and Being in Burmese Buddhist Cosmology
Apr
18
12:00 PM12:00

Time and Kinship: Rebirth and Being in Burmese Buddhist Cosmology

  • 420 West 118th Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Burmese Buddhists tell rebirth stories to explain where they came from and will go, from previous life to the next in the cycle of rebirth. The ultimate goal of their existence is not for the cycle to continue but to end, so as to attain nirvana. The Western modernist assumption of linear endlessly progressing time embedded in standard models of kinship in anthropology needs to be withdrawn to take into account the Burmese Buddhist experience and practice of kinship, with its multiple concepts of time and multiple paths through which relatedness by blood and water unfold along cycles of rebirth. The Burmese case invites an anthropological inquiry into the concept of time, and offers a critique of, and alternative to, the Western idea of teleological progress.

Please join us for a seminar featuring Naoko Kumada, a research fellow at the School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, and moderated by Zhaohua Yang, the Sheng Yen Assistant Professor of Chinese Buddhism at the Columbia Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. No registration is required for the event. 

For more information, click here

Hosted by: 

  • Columbia Weatherhead East Asian Institute

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The Rohingya: Statelessness, Refugeehood and a ‘Subhuman’ Life, by Nasir Uddin
Feb
11
12:15 PM12:15

The Rohingya: Statelessness, Refugeehood and a ‘Subhuman’ Life, by Nasir Uddin

The Rohingyas, an ethno-linguistic and religious minority of Myanmar known as the most persecuted people in the world, experienced a brutal atrocity in 2017 perpetrated by Myanmar security forces and vigilantes what the United Nations Human Rights Council explained as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Following an attack made by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25, 2017, Myanmar security forces launched a clearance operation, which, a report of a three-member-panel appointed by the United Nations confirms, forced 725,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh, about 10,000 Rohingyas were killed in the first two months, hundreds of women and girls were (gang) raped, and 392 villages were partially or totally destroyed. Along with the previous ones, Bangladesh now hosts 1.3 million Rohingya in its Southeastern part, Ukhia and Teknaf. The locals are becoming ‘unwelcoming’ since 1.3 million additional people have begun to share local resources, livelihood sources, and social utilities. In Myanmar, if we considering the intensity of atrocity committed by the state forces, the ways the Rohingyas have been dealt with as if they are not human beings. Now, the Rohingyas are ‘struggling for existence’ in Bangladesh having an obscured past, critical present and an uncertain future. The Rohingyas belong to no state as Myanmar stripped of their citizenship four decades ago and Bangladesh does not recognize them even as refugees. Given the context, the talk with empirically grounded evidences presents the current states of Rohingya in the Borderland of Bangladesh and Myanmar within the broader spectrum of statelessness, refugeehood and “subhuman life”.  

Nasir Uddin is a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh, and Professor of Anthropology at Chittagong University. Currently, he is working as a Research Consultant with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London. 

Find more information here.

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The International Conference on Protection and Accountability in Burma
Feb
8
to Feb 9

The International Conference on Protection and Accountability in Burma

Come hear renowned scholars of genocide, post-colonial studies, and law, global activists, UN officials, & political leaders, as well as Myanmar's victims of what UN calls "gravest crimes in international law" (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes). See the full program (draft) here.

This conference is designed to call world’s attention to and educate the international public at large about the twofold need for protection and accountability which Rohingya genocide survivors and other ethnic and religious minorities such as Kachin, Shan, Karen, Myanmar Muslims, etc. demand and deserve.

Registration table opens at 8:30 am. Doors will open at 8:45 am. Those arriving late must wait to be seated and may forfeit their ticket to waitlisted individuals.

Please do not arrive with any large bags or containers. A valid ID is required for entry.

Please contact ColumbiaBurmaConference@gmail.com for questions, comments, and inquiries related to the conference.

Register for the here.

Hosted by The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (Columbia University), GlobalCultural Studies (Columbia University), Free Rohingya Coalition, South Asia Institute (Columbia University), and The Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (Barnard College).

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Putting Rohingya Voices Back into the Rohingya Crisis
Nov
13
to Nov 14

Putting Rohingya Voices Back into the Rohingya Crisis

  • 295 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10012 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join NYSEAN as Elliott Prasse-Freeman discusses the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. In the wake of the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, various debates have erupted: What do the Rohingya want (their own state, a safe return to Burma, relocation)?  And who are they (an indigenous ethnic group, “Bengali" interlopers masquerading as Burmese autochthons, a religious minority)? This talk, based on on-going research in refugee camps in Cox Bazaar and with members of the Rohingya diaspora, considers Rohingya social and political identity from a number of sociopolitical contexts, presenting historical, linguistic, and political data to complicate narratives advanced by disparate sides of the debate. The talk reintroduces voices of non-elites - Rohingya widows forced to flee Burma; Rohingya youth attempting to 'pass' in Bangladeshi society - that have been excluded from many of these discussions.

Elliott Prasse-Freeman is an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore in Anthropology/Sociology. His research focuses on social movements, daily politics, and ethnicity in Burma and Southeast Asia more broadly.

Hosted by NYSEAN.

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Myanmar Up Close
Jun
12
8:30 AM08:30

Myanmar Up Close

Myanmar's top-down transition from over 50 years of harsh military rule to an elected government led by long-celebrated democracy and human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi brought hope that the country's moment for political and economic transition had truly come. While Myanmar has certainly made strides, in the past few years these have largely slowed, and political and economic power has remained rooted in the hands of the military. Tragedies and challenges have abounded, from the horrific treatment and plight of the Rohingya, to increased violent conflict between the military and various other ethnic groups, to hampered economic reform, strained bilateral relationships, governance challenges, and more.

Given these and other challenges, where are the opportunities for a positive way forward? What's next for Myanmar’s transition?

Join the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) for a discussion with Ambassador Derek Mitchell, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from 2012 to 2016. He will be joined in conversation by ASPI's Debra Eisenman, who recently returned from Myanmar, and is the author of an ASPI report on the state of Myanmar's transition and recommendations for ways forward.

Register here.

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Myanmar in Transition: Historic Change at the Crossroads of Asia
May
2
12:00 PM12:00

Myanmar in Transition: Historic Change at the Crossroads of Asia

  • Columbia University International Affairs Rm. 1512 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Derek Mitchell, Senior Adviser to Albright Stonebridge Group and the United States Institute of Peace. Previously, Mitchell was U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from 2012 to 2016, the first in 22 years. He has also served as U.S. Department of State's first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma and principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.  Moderator: Ann Marie Murphy, Associate Professor Seton Hall University, and Senior Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Hosted by NYSEAN, Southeast Asia Seminar, Columbia Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

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The Rohingya Crisis: Human Rights and the International Community
Mar
28
5:00 PM17:00

The Rohingya Crisis: Human Rights and the International Community

Panel Discussion By:

Nadira Khudayberdieva, Myanmar Expert, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Fung Li, Human Rights officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

His Excellency Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations

Francis Wade, An independent journalist and analyst, covering Burma and Southeast Asia

Alex Whiting, Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School

Register here.

Hosted by CUNY International Law Society, NYSEAN, American Brunch of the International Law Association, APALSA, CSA, FIRE, IRAP, MLSA, South Asian Bar Association of NY and UNICEF Campus Initiative.

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Understanding the Rohingya Crisis: Racial and Religious Histories in Burma and the Responsibilities of Regional Neighbors in the Humanitarian Response
Nov
14
3:00 PM15:00

Understanding the Rohingya Crisis: Racial and Religious Histories in Burma and the Responsibilities of Regional Neighbors in the Humanitarian Response

  • International Affairs Building (IAB) 918, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

While the crisis in Myanmar has been growing in the international community's consciousness, there is a lack of understanding of the roots of the conflict.

In the first part of our discussion, we will explore the systematic othering of Rohingya and the growing fear of Islam in the country. In the second half, we will discuss the potential role that regional neighbors should play.

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Understanding the Rohingya Crisis: Race, Religion, and Violence in Burma
Nov
10
4:00 PM16:00

Understanding the Rohingya Crisis: Race, Religion, and Violence in Burma

  • Luce Hall Auditorium, Yale University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Francis Wade joins a panel with James C Scott, Sterling Professor Political Science at Yale and Kyaw Hsan Hlaing, a Burmese peace activist working on Rohingya issues.

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority of Burma of approximately one million people, are enduring a protracted and ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign. In September alone the Myanmar military burned hundreds of villages and forced nearly half a million to flee to Bangladesh. Journalist Francis Wade, the author of Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim ‘Other’ (2017), joins a panel of scholars and activists to explore the deep roots of these events, examining how violent prejudices were nurtured by the military and activated during the democratic transition, and what potential there is for peace and security in Burma not only for the Rohingya but for the country’s other minorities. 

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The Roots of the Rohingya Crisis: The Eradication of a Myanmar Ethnic Group
Nov
7
4:30 PM16:30

The Roots of the Rohingya Crisis: The Eradication of a Myanmar Ethnic Group

  • Klarman Hall, Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Cornell University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Rohingya are a largely Muslim minority group living in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. Denied citizenship by law, the Rohingya are often described as the most persecuted minority in the world. In August, Rohingya militants attacked police outposts in Rakhine. The Burmese military responded with a crackdown that UN officials have characterized as ethnic cleansing. Roughly half the 1.1 million Rohingya have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Bangladesh.

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The Rohingya Issue In A Global Context
Oct
30
4:30 PM16:30

The Rohingya Issue In A Global Context

  • Goldwin Smith Hall, Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Cornell University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Spivak will shed light on the current issues in Myanmar (Burma) related to the Rohingya and situate those issues at the global level.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University, holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Toronto and London, and Oberlin College.  Her books are In Other Worlds (1987), Thinking Academic Freedom in Gendered Post-Coloniality (1993), Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993); Imperatives to Reimagine the Planet (1997), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason(1999), Death of a Discipline (2003), Other Asias (2007),  An Aesthetic Education in the Age of Globalization (2012), Readings(2014) and Du Bois and the General Strike (forthcoming).

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Sittwe: Film Screening and Discussion
Oct
25
1:00 PM13:00

Sittwe: Film Screening and Discussion

  • International Affairs Building Room 918, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Sittwe tells about two teenagers in Burma’s Rakhine state who were displaced by communal violence in 2012: a Muslim girl named Phyu Phyu Than and a Buddhist boy named Aung Khan Myint. Interviews recorded over two years explore their ideas about education and the possibility of reconciliation. The film, in Rakhine, Bengali and Burmese with English subtitles, aims to give voice to two sides of the conflict to enable a way forwards towards peace. 

The event will consist of a screening of a 20 minute documentary followed by Q&A with human rights advocate, Myo Win and ISHR visiting scholar Kyaw Hsan Hlaing.

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Late Colonial with Charmaine Craig & Maaza Mengiste
May
17
7:00 PM19:00

Late Colonial with Charmaine Craig & Maaza Mengiste

Come hear two crucial novelists who are narrating the colonial and postcolonial nation. Stay to chomp on free Burmese food. We’re celebrating the new novel by author-actress Charmaine Craig: the semi-autobiographical epic, Miss Burma. Pulitzer Finalist Laila Lalami calls the book “a sweeping novel of Burma and its complicated history, told from the perspective of people whose voices have been systematically erased from the official record.” Charmaine will talk with Maaza Mengiste, whose novel Beneath the Lion’s Gaze tells the last days of Ethiopian ruler Haile Selassie and the 1970s Ethiopian Civil War. If you loved Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Chaitali Sen’s The Pathless Sky, don’t miss this thrilling discussion of late colonial violence, mass revolt, postcolonial malaise, and the personal stories that comprise history from below. 

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How in Myanmar “National Races” came to Surpass Citizenship
Apr
27
12:00 PM12:00

How in Myanmar “National Races” came to Surpass Citizenship

“National races”, or taingyintha, is among the preeminent political ideas in Myanmar today. But because the term is translated from Burmese inconsistently, and because its usage is contingent, its peculiar significance for political speech and action has been lost in work on Myanmar by scholars writing in English. Out of concern that Myanmar’s contemporary politics cannot be understood without reckoning with taingyintha, in this talk I give national races their due. Adopting a genealogical method, I trace the episodic emergence of taingyintha from colonial times to the present. I examine attempts to order national races taxonomically, and to marry the taxonomy with a juridical project to dominate some people and elide others through a citizenship regime in which membership in a national race has surpassed other conditions for membership in the political community “Myanmar”. Consequently, people who reside in Myanmar but are collectively denied citizenship—like anyone identifying or identified as Rohingya—pursue claims to be taingyintha so as to rejoin the community. Ironically, the surpassing symbolic and juridical power of national races is for people denied civil and political rights at once their problem and their solution.

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Interpreting Communal Violence in Myanmar
Mar
2
12:00 PM12:00

Interpreting Communal Violence in Myanmar

  • Puck Building, Mulberry Conference Room (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

From 2012 to 2014, Myanmar experienced recurrent, sporadic, collective acts of lethal violence, realized through repeated public expressions that Muslims constitute an existential threat to Buddhists. In this talk, I draw on scholarship from Indonesia and India to make a case for classing and analyzing the violence as “communal.” I conclude with some tentative remarks on the relationship between communal violence, anti-Muslim sentiment, and the most recent military operations in Myanmar’s west. 

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