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Showing posts from October, 2020

New Books Network podcast on Myanmar's Constitution

The tail end of the twentieth century was a good time for constitutional lawyers. Leapfrogging around the globe, they offered advice on how to amend, write or rewrite one state constitution after the next following the collapse of the Soviet Union and with it, the communist bloc. Largely overlooked in the flurry of constitution drafting in this period, officials in Myanmar worked away on a new constitution without any experts from abroad—or, for that matter, many of those at home. Soldiers watched over them, dictating terms for what became the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar: the document that lays the parameters for formal political contestation and representation there today.  The country gets set to go to the polls in November 2020. In this episode of New Books in Southeast Asian Studies with host Nick Cheesman,  Melissa Crouch  discusses her  The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis  (Hart, 2019; shortlisted for the book award of the  Australian Legal Research Awards ), and

Why Myanmar's Elections Will be Neither Free, Fair nor Safe

*This article was first published in The Interpreter by the Lowy Institute We all desperately wanted Myanmar to be a democratic success story, myself included. In 2015, I witnessed the historical national election when the Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party won enough seats to form government. Five years later, on 8 November, people in Myanmar will again go to the polls. To understand what is at stake in 2020, the international community needs to question the assumption that the 2015 elections were free and fair for all. In the lead up to the 2015 elections, Rohingya who held temporary identity cards were excluded from voting. This contradicted past political practise. From 2010 to 2015, both citizens and a range of people with other recognised forms of identity could vote and run for public office. In fact, if we go back to the 1990 elections, at least some Rohingya were able to run for public office. Of course, the military never honoured the results of that election. This is

UNSW ASEAN Conference

  The UNSW ASEAN Conference 2020 begins this Saturday. With over 40 speakers, this student run initiative is designed to promote engagement and debate on key issues facing ASEAN. There are a series of online events held over three weeks with each day focusing on a specific pillar: 1. Socio-Cultural Pillar: Held on the 10th October 2020 2. Economics Pillar: Held on the 17th October 2020 3. Political-Security Pillar: Held on the 24th October 2020 To regi ster see here: https://www.unswaseanconference.com/ The full conference program is available here #uacon2020