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Bilingual panel to highlight Myanmar’s anti-military movement

Millions of people in Myanmar have risen up against military rule since a coup d’état in February 2021 removed the country’s democratically elected leader from office — the topic of a March 27 panel discussion on “People in Revolt: The State of the Anti-Military Movement in Myanmar.”

Attendees of the panel will learn more about how the country’s anti-military movement grew into a nationwide uprising, how this dissent is sustained and what the movement envisions for a new Myanmar.

Hosted by the Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), part of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the discussions will be held in English and Burmese. The English discussion begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Statler Hotel’s Taylor Room and the Burmese discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the Kahin Center. Participants are also welcome to join by Zoom.

Since the coup, the Myanmar military and police have reportedly killed thousands of civilians and have arbitrarily detained thousands more. As conflict has erupted across the country, civilian populations have been bombed, properties have been razed and hundreds of thousands of people are internally displaced.

A parallel government, the National Unity Government (NUG), has formed in Myanmar in response. Made up of elected lawmakers and members of the parliament deposed by the coup, ethnic representatives and civil society activists, the NUG opposes the military by seeking support from Ethnic Armed Groups across Myanmar and by seeking support domestically and abroad.

Two panelists are representatives of this parallel government: U Moe Zaw Oo is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and U Kyaw Moe Tun is the permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations. They will be joined by Priscilla Clap, a former senior U.S. State Department official.

“As one of the world’s leading Southeast Asian studies centers, SEAP has a long history of engagement with Myanmar, and SEAP alums are active participants in current debates about the past and future of this important country,” said Tom Pepinsky, SEAP director, Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government and professor in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.

The event is co-sponsored by the Brooks School, the Einaudi Center, the Department of Government, the Department of Asian Studies and the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. It is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education as part of SEAP’s designation as a National Resource Center.

Ava White is a communications and outreach coordinator for the Southeast Asia Program.

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