Archives par mot-clé : Birmanie/Myanmar

The Cell, Exile, and the New Burma: A Political Education amid the Unfinished Journey toward Democracy

« The Cell, Exile, and the New Burma: A Political Education amid the Unfinished Journey toward Democracy » by Kyaw Zwa Moe, Yangon, New Myanmar Publishing House, 2018, 245 p., 27/08/2018, Tea Circle Oxford

David Scott Mathieson explores the new collection of essays by noted journalist Kyaw Zwa Moe, an emotional palimpsest of lives lived under military rule.

There is a painful poignancy to reading Kyaw Zwa Moe’s powerful collection of essays on the 30th Anniversary of the 1988 Uprising in Burma. The Cell, Exile, and the New Burma is an attempt to close a long circle of personal struggle, sacrifice, violence, complexity and inspiration. Yet it is a journey that refuses to reconnect, as if the hopes of 1988 ricocheted off the reality of entrenched military rule.

The Irrawaddy magazine’s editor, columnist and political talk-show host, Kyaw Zwa Moe is one of the most prominent chroniclers of the past three decades of Burma’s political drama. His new book is a timely reminder of recent history and the people who lived it, the lessons imparted should be guides for the present and future. How far along has Burma come, where are many of the people who were involved, and how do they feel about ‘Shwe Myanmar a-thit’ (the new golden Burma)?

His book is arranged in four parts: prison, exile, a series of eclectic personalized profiles of Burmese activists, leaders, and ordinary lives during dictatorship, and the final section on the ‘New Burma’ as the author returns from 12 years of exile in Thailand and reflects on the changes taking place.

Kyaw Zwa Moe was a teenage high-school student when the 1988 anti-government demonstrations surged in 1988 to topple the Socialist one-party rule backed by a ruthless military. He joined them and took to the underground life of activism. First arrested in December 1991 for his underground activities, he spent the next eight years in the notorious Insein and Tharrawaddy prisons.

Lire la suite sur : https://teacircleoxford.com/2018/08/27/the-cell-exile-and-the-new-burma-a-political-education-amid-the-unfinished-journey-toward-democracy-by-kyaw-zwa-moe-yangon-new-myanmar-publishing-house-2018-245-pages/

 

 

Birmanie : un an après la campagne contre les Rohingyas, le pouvoir renforcé ?

Des manifestations de masse ont commémoré le premier anniversaire de la répression opérée par l’armée birmane sur la population musulmane• Crédits : Paula Bronstein – Getty

Podcast : « Birmanie : un an après la campagne contre les Rohingyas, le pouvoir renforcé ? », 03/09/2018, Les Enjeux Internationaux, France Culture

Intervenante : Alexandra de Mersan
anthropologue, maître de conférences à l’Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (Inalco).

Entre octobre 2016 et septembre 2017, 700 000 Rohingyas musulmans de l’Etat Rakhine (Arakan) avaient fui l’armée birmane vers le Bangladesh. Le rapport du Haut Commissariat aux Réfugiés est clair : meurtres de masses, viols collectifs, villages brûlés et passage des terres au bulldozer…

La liste des violences commises par l’armée est longue. Plus encore, les trois rapporteurs de l’ONU y voient assez de systématisme pour engager une « intention génocidaire » de la part de l’armée (Tatmadaw). Pour l’instant six militaires dont le Commandant en chef de l’armée le général Ming Aung Hlaing sont mis en cause. Le rapport est sévère aussi envers la première ministre Aung San Suu Kyi, dont le silence au moment des violences, et le soutien à l’armée contre les « terroristes » est jugé complice.

Les possibilités de poursuites réelles sont cependant minces. Comme en 2017, le Myanmar a rejeté ce rapport du HCR 2017 dont l’enquête n’avait pas été autorisée. Plus encore, toute mise en place d’une juridiction légitime (ou presque) devra passer par un vote du Conseil de Sécurité où la Birmanie y est soutenue par la Russie et la Chine pour qui le Myanmar est stratégique en Asie du Sud-Est : le projet de corridor économique Kunming-Kyaukpyu, du Yunnan jusqu’à l’Etat Rakhine, est la voie choisie par Pékin pour éviter à terme de passer par le détroit de Malacca.

Les autres diplomaties ont reçu prudemment le rapport. Dans un régime à deux têtes autonomes, l’armée et le pouvoir civil, des poursuites contre des militaires impliqueraient un changement politique majeur ; il mettrait en péril des intérêts étrangers et l’équilibre politique actuel : qui y est vraiment prêt ?

A écouter sur : https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/les-enjeux-internationaux/birmanie-la-crise-des-rohingas-inquiete-t-elle-le-regime

Engaging the UWSA: Countering Myths, Building Ties

Wa flag flies outside school in Northern Wa Region (Image Credit: Andrew Ong)

« Engaging the UWSA: Countering Myths, Building Ties » by Andrew Ong, 20/08/2018, Tea Circle, An Oxford Forum for New Perspectives on Burma/Myanmar

Andrew Ong makes the case for the international community to reach out to the UWSA and build trust.

The carefully staged photos of tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing serving soup to United Wa State Army (UWSA) commander Bao Youyi, hospitalised after fatigue and hypertension at the Third Union Peace Conference (UPC) in July 2018, raised eyebrows across the country. The photo was posted to the former’s Facebook page and gestured towards bridge-building between the tatmadaw and the UWSA, the country’s strongest Ethnic Armed Organisation (EAO).

Building genuine trust however, will take far more than birds’ nest soup.

Not captured in the photograph were the UWSA’s demands for an official Wa State, amendments to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and the 2008 Constitution, and recognition of the Wa-controlled territory on the Thai border.

The UWSA had in September 2016 walked out of Aung San Suu Kyi’s landmark attempt to build peace with EAOs, the 21st Century Panglong Conference (now UPC). The formation of the UWSA-led coalition, the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) in April 2017, was a further blow to her NLD government’s hopes for significant progress in the peace process. The FPNCC submitted its demands at the Second UPC in May 2017, which were largely ignored. This Third UPC saw little concrete progress made, and now runs the risk of halting its momentum.

Perceptions and Myths of the UWSA

The UWSA was formed from the fracturing of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in 1989, its leaders quick to sign a ceasefire with the tatmadaw, one that has held to the present day. It controls fully two large swathes of territory along the Chinese and Thai borders, protected by an army of around 30,000.

Narratives about the UWSA have focused on secrecy and isolation, with sensationalised reporting about “an empire built on guns, drugs and blood”, or unverified allegations of the acquisition of helicopters and other weapons. The scant scholarly material centres on the political economy of opium and drugs, with book covers predominantly depicting soldiers in poppy fields.

In May 2015, the UWSA hosted the first EAOs summit at its headquarters in Pangkham, without the presence of Myanmar government representatives, and created the first opportunity for the press to visit Wa Region. Journalists were invited by the UWSA again in October 2016.

Paradoxically, while these visits gave a glimpse into life inside Wa Region, they also created distance – exaggerating the secrecy and remoteness of Wa Region, or its similarities to China. Across the media, representations of the UWSA invariably depict young soldiers marching, training, or guarding checkpoints, alongside charges of vice and lawlessness, and exotic visuals of the wildlife trade and casinos.

Little wonder then, that the UWSA remains “feared and poorly understood”, and few in Yangon can imagine ever engaging with the UWSA. Two serious misconceptions circulate in Yangon: first that the UWSA is a part or pawn of China, and second that they are mysterious, isolated and disengaged from Myanmar.

Lire la suite sur : https://teacircleoxford.com/2018/08/20/engaging-the-uwsa-countering-myths-building-ties/

Burma (Myanmar) since the 1988 uprising: A select bibliography (Third edition)

Burma (Myanmar) since the 1988 uprising: A select bibliography (Third edition), 30 July 2018, Griffith Asia Institute

When nation-wide pro-democracy demonstrations were crushed by the armed forces in 1988, thrusting Myanmar (Burma) into the world’s headlines, there was a surge of public interest in the country. Aung San Suu Kyi’s 15 years under house arrest and developments like the recent Rohingya crisis have helped it remain a focus of attention.

As Matrii Aung Thwin has written, over the past 30 years numerous studies have appeared, offering ‘a variety of perspectives that reveal particular and sometimes contested perceptions of the Burmese past, present and future’. The struggle against authoritarian rule by domestic political groups and the country’s ethnic and religious minorities has been the subject of hundreds of books, research papers and scholarly articles. Close attention has been paid to Myanmar’s economy, defence policies and foreign relations. New publications have been devoted to neglected aspects of the country’s society and culture. There have also been important contributions to Myanmar studies in broader works, covering subjects such as the involvement of armed forces in politics and the development problems of ‘failed’ states.

This increased level of academic and official interest has been matched by a greater awareness of Myanmar among the populations of Western and other countries, prompting the publication of a wide range of works designed mainly for the mass market. The biggest sellers have been travel guides, albums of photographs and recipe books. The China-Burma-India theatre during the Second World War has attracted renewed interest from military historians. There has also been a flood of political tracts, most produced by exiled dissidents and foreign activist groups. Since 1988, think tanks like the International Crisis Group and organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have commissioned detailed analyses of key issues. Many publications have been posted on the Internet, but most have also been released in hard copy as books, reports and research papers.

As more and more works appeared, the need arose for a bibliography or checklist of major Myanmar-related publications, not only for scholars and officials but also for the flood of foreigners who, mainly after 2011, travelled to Myanmar as tourists, consultants, aid workers and business executives.

Responding to this need, in 2012 the Griffith Asia Institute’s Andrew Selth published a select bibliography entitled Burma (Myanmar) Since the 1988 Uprising. It listed 928 books and reports that had been produced in English, and in hard copy, since 1988. In response to popular demand a second edition was published in 2015, listing 1318 works. The aim of the bibliography remained the same, namely to provide academics, officials, students and members of the general public with an easily accessible list of works on Myanmar that had been produced over the past three decades. A third edition of this bibliography has just been released, both in hard copy and online. Reflecting the continued outpouring of publications about Myanmar in English, it lists 2133 works.

Lire la suite sur : https://blogs.griffith.edu.au/asiainsights/burma-myanmar-since-the-1988-uprising-a-select-bibliography-third-edition/

Télécharger la bibliographie sur : https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/485942/Burma-Bibliography-2018-Selth-web.pdf

Podcast : The Karen in 2017: Resilience, Aspirations and Politics

« The Karen in 2017: Resilience, Aspirations and Politics », 15 June 2017, Oxford University

A one-day workshop on ‘The Karen in 2017: Resilience, Aspirations and Politics’ was organised by Dr Matthew J. Walton was held on 15th June 2017 at St Antony’s College.

A list of papers given is provided below, please see the links for a number of audio recordings.

The Karen and the Gift of Education​
Pia Joliffe (University of Oxford)
Audio Podcast

The Karen, Education and the Diaspora
Bob Anderson (Mobile Education Partnerships)
Audio Podcast

Perinatal Depression in Migrant and Refugee Karen and Burmese women in Tak province, Thailand
Gracia Fellmeth (University of Oxford)
Audio Podcast

Coming of Age in Hpa-an: Hope and Visions of the Good Life
Justine Chambers (Australian National University)
Audio Podcast

Non-state welfare and the politics of abandonment: Northern Karen State in the shadow of the 1990s
Gerard McCarthy (Australian National University)
Audio Podcast

Vulnerability, Poverty and Displacement and the absence of Interim Arrangements: Karen Communities in Ceasefire areas of Southeast Burma/Myanmar
Tim Schroeder (Covenant Consult / Friedensau Adventist University)
Audio Podcast

From Conflict to Ceasefire: Landmines as a form of community protection in Eastern Myanmar
Greg Cathcart
Audio Podcast

Comparing the KNU and KIO ceasefire experiences
David Brenner (University of Surrey)
Audio Podcast

Humanitarian Aid and the Karen
Alexander Horstmann (Tallinn University)
Audio Podcast

‘Everything has changed’ yet ‘I have nothing’: the Transborder lives of Karen women from Hpa-an, Myanmar
Indre Calmaite (Central European University)
Audio Podcast

History of Social Suffering and the Social Agent
Father Vinai (The Seven Fountain Jesuit Regional Retreat Centre / People for Others Foundation)

Roundtable Discussion: The Future of Karen in Myanmar/Burma and the diaspora
Benedict Rogers, Martin Smith, Richard Dolan and Justine Chambers
Audio Podcast

Voir : https://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/karen-2017-resilience-aspirations-and-politics

Podcast : Gender, Rights and Justice in a Transitioning Myanmar

« Gender, Rights and Justice in a Transitioning Myanmar », 13-14 November 2017, Oxford University

A two-day workshop on ‘Gender, Rights and Justice in a Transitioning Myanmar’ organised by Drs Daw Khin Mar Mar Kyi and Matthew J. Walton was held at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford on 13th and 14th November 2017. Part of the Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series.

A list of papers given is provided below, please see the links for a number of audio recordings.

Female MPs and the Protection of Human Rights
May Win Myint (Central Executive Committee, National League of Democracy)
Audio podcast

Gender and Education
Aye Aye Chit (Mandalay Medical University)
Audio Podcast

Law and Gender Based Violence in Transitioning Myanmar
Sandra Htar Htar (Akhaya Women)
Audio Podcast

Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls in Myanmar
Janet Jackson (United Nations Population Fund)
Audio Podcast

Constructing Female Citizenship: Education and Activism in Transition
Elizabeth Maber (University of Amsterdam)
Audio Podcast

Ending Impunity is the Key to Combatting Gender Based Violence
Naw Wah Ku Shee (Women League of Burma)
Audio Podcast

Gender and Health
Aye Aye Chit (Mandalay Medical University)
Audio Podcast

Gender and Drug Policy
Mai Hla Aye (Central European University)
Audio Podcast

Voir : https://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/gender-rights-and-justice-transitioning-myanmar

Remembering the Present : Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia

Julia L. Cassaniti, Remembering the Present : Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia, Cornell University Press, 2018

What is mindfulness, and how does it vary as a concept across different cultures? How does mindfulness find expression in practice in the Buddhist cultures of Southeast Asia? What role does mindfulness play in everyday life? J. L. Cassaniti answers these fundamental questions and more through an engaged ethnographic investigation of what it means to « remember the present » in a region strongly influenced by Buddhist thought.

Focusing on Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, Remembering the Present examines the meanings, practices, and purposes of mindfulness. Using the experiences of people in Buddhist monasteries, hospitals, markets, and homes in the region, Cassaniti shows how an attention to memory informs how people live today and how mindfulness is intimately tied to local constructions of time, affect, power, emotion, and selfhood. By looking at how these people incorporate Theravada Buddhism into their daily lives, Cassaniti provides a signal contribution to the psychological anthropology of religious experience.

Remembering the Present heeds the call made by researchers in the psychological sciences and the Buddhist side of mindfulness studies for better understandings of what mindfulness is and can be. Cassaniti addresses fundamental questions about selfhood, identity, and how a deeper appreciation of the many contexts and complexities intrinsic in sati (mindfulness in the Pali language) can help people lead richer, fuller, and healthier lives. Remembering the Present shows how mindfulness needs to be understood within the cultural and historical influences from which it has emerged.

Ecouter l’entretien avec Julia Cassaniti sur son livre : http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?gcoi=80140107114010

 

Online exhibition of Buddhist art of Myanmar

Online exhibition of Buddhist art of Myanmar in the collection of the British Museum. Curated by Alexandra Green, Henry Ginsburg Curator in Southeast Asian Art at the British Museum.

Introduction

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Western scholars viewed Buddhism as an austere, monolithic religion focused upon meditation and nirvana – the escape from the cycles of rebirth.   Such a portrayal ignores the realities of religious systems in Myanmar (Burma), where people combine homage to the Buddha with such activities as spirit worship, making offerings, and divination. People select these rituals according to their personal needs in everyday life, and also to form spiritual pathways to pleasurable rebirths and to help them strive for nirvana.   This exhibition draws on the British Museum’s Myanmar collections to explore how the variety of Buddhist ideas is revealed in lively daily practices.

A explorer sur : https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/twKyUyMK68joJA

The Tale of Prince Vessantara at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)

« The Tale of Prince Vessantara », until 09 September 2018, Ashmolean Museum (University of Oxford)

The Buddha is believed to have had many lives before being born as Siddhartha Gautama. Stories of his past lives are known as jatakas (‘birth stories’). They play an important role in teaching Buddhist values.

The Vessantara Jataka is the last and most popular of the jataka tales. Here the Buddha was born as Prince Vessantara of the Sivi Kingdom, a very generous man who gave away everything, including his wife and children, to help others. His actions demonstrate the virtue of generosity, which in Buddhism is one of the ‘perfections’ required to achieve enlightenment.

The tale is often illustrated in Southeast Asian and Sri Lankan art. Buddhists can gain merit by making and commissioning these images. This display, drawn from the Ashmolean’s own collection, highlights a selection of Burmese and Sri Lankan drawings, paintings and woodcarvings of the story dating to the 19th century.

Curator : Dr Farouk Yahya

Voir : https://www.ashmolean.org/event/the-tale-of-prince-vessantara

 

Religion and society, vol. 8, n° 1 (sept. 2017)

Religion and society : advances in research, vol. 8, n° 1 (sept. 2017)

Special section : Towards a comparative anthropology of buddhism

  • Introduction : Legacies, Trajectories, and Comparison in the Anthropology of Buddhism by Nicolas Sihlé and Patrice Ladwig
  • Ritual Tattooing and the Creation of New Buddhist Identities : An Inquiry into the Initiation Process in a Burmese Organization of Exorcists by Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière
  • The Ethics of Collective Sponsorship : Virtuous Action and Obligation in Contemporary Tibet by Jane Caple
  • Belonging in a New Myanmar : The Cosmopolitics of an Apparently Non-religious Practice by Juliane Schober
  • The White Cotton Robe : Charisma and Clothes in Tibetan Buddhism Today by Magdalena Maria Turek
  • Rethinking Anthropological Models of Spirit Possession and Theravada Buddhism by Erick White
  • Afterword : So What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About? by David N. Gellner

Voir : https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/religion-and-society/8/1/religion-and-society.8.issue-1.xml

 

 

 

 

Genealogies of Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Burma

Genealogies of Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Burma with Alicia Turner, Southeast Asia Crossroads Podcast

A écouter sur : https://soundcloud.com/seacrossroads/genealogies-of-religious-tolerance-and-intolerance-in-burma-with-alicia-turner-1?

Vous trouverez la liste des podcasts de Southeast Asia Crossroads ici : https://soundcloud.com/seacrossroads

Derniers podcasts :

  • Facebook, Leapfrogging, and the Dark Side in Myanmar with Lisa Brooten
  • Transnationalizing Cambodian Buddhism with John Marston
  • Archaeology and the Underpinnings of Ancient Vietnam with Nam Kim

 

For Myanmar’s Army, Ethnic Bloodletting Is Key to Power and Riches

« For Myanmar’s Army, Ethnic Bloodletting Is Key to Power and Riches » by Richard C. Paddock, 27/01/2018, The New York Times

For Myanmar’s army, the campaign of atrocity it has waged to drive hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims out of the country is no innovation. The force was born in blood 76 years ago and has been shedding it ever since.

Its founders, known as the Thirty Comrades, established the army in 1941 with a ghoulish ceremony in Bangkok, where they drew each other’s blood with a single syringe, mixed it in a silver bowl and drank it to seal their vow of loyalty.

The army that they formed led the nation to independence in 1948. But except for a brief, initial period of peace, it has spent the last seven decades warring with its own people.

The army, known as the Tatmadaw, seized power from the civilian government in Burma, as the country is also known, in 1962. The military killed thousands of protesters to keep power in 1988 and suppressed another popular uprising, the Saffron Revolution, in 2007.

In constant fighting with ethnic minorities, the Tatmadaw has displaced millions of people while taking billions of dollars in profit from jade mines, teak forests and other natural resources. Its strategy has been to fight ethnic rebels to a standstill, manage the conflicts through cease-fires and enrich its officers.

“There has never been any sense of needing to win hearts and minds,” said Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in Washington. “The Tatmadaw’s doctrine is based on total submission by the population through fear. And to that end, there is little they will not do.”

Though it holds itself up as the protector of Myanmar’s people, the military has a long history of murdering civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, committing rape, conscripting child soldiers, impressing convicts as porters and making civilians walk ahead of its troops to trip land mines.

Lire la suite sur : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/world/asia/myanmar-military-ethnic-cleansing.html?

Religious extremism poses threat to ASEAN’s growth

« Religious extremism poses threat to ASEAN’s growth » by Gwen Robinson and Simon Roughneen, 14/12/2017, Nikkei Asian Review

Aided by social media, hardliners gain mainstream support

The Dec. 2 event marked a year since an estimated half-million people clamored in the rain for the arrest of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the then-governor of Jakarta. Since then, Purnama, a Protestant of Chinese descent nicknamed Ahok, lost the gubernatorial election and was sentenced to two years in jail on the same blasphemy charges that brought massive crowds onto Jakarta’s streets late last year.

The episode raised concerns around the world that Indonesia’s relatively tolerant variant of Islam — and its secular democracy — was under attack. And it was a startling display of the strength of Islamist groups in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Among the organizers were the Islamic Defenders Front, known as FPI, and the Islamic Ummah Forum.

Those groups do not claim affiliation with the al-Qaida-linked militants who killed 202 people in Bali in 2002, nor the estimated 1,150 Indonesians who traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the so-called Islamic State. But the government has been sufficiently alarmed to ban the local wing of Hizbut Tahrir, another Islamist movement involved in the anti-Ahok protests — and which hopes to establish a caliphate.

Across Asia, the rise of hard-line religious movements is fueling a macho form of nationalism and creating dangerous new fault lines in communities. Beyond Indonesia with its numerous Islamist groups are Myanmar’s zealous Buddhist organizations, which have stoked anti-Muslim sentiment to deadly effect. Bangladesh has seen the rise of Islamic fundamentalists including Hefazat-e-Islam, while Sri Lanka has Bodu Bala Sena, a radical Sinhalese Buddhist group.

Such groups number in the dozens across Asia — fundamentalist Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus who are adding new fuel on what are sometimes ancient ethnic conflicts. Some boast memberships that run into the hundreds of thousands, powered by zealous social media campaigns, community support programs and effective fundraising operations. The donations, often tiny amounts collected from poor followers, become a source of support for hard-line leaders.

Analysts warn that such ethno-religious chauvinism represents the biggest threat to the economic growth the region has enjoyed in recent years — and to the dream of greater cohesion over trade and economic issues. « Rapid economic growth over the past three decades has raised standards of living across much of Asia, but left marginal areas, like Mindanao in the Philippines and Rakhine State in Myanmar, untouched and therefore comparatively worse off, » said Michael Vatikiotis, Asia director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. « It is perhaps no coincidence that these areas are afflicted by violent conflict. »

Lire la suite sur : https://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20171214/On-the-Cover/Religious-extremism-poses-threat-to-ASEAN-s-growth

 

Religion and Violence in Myanmar: Sitagu Sayadaw’s Case for Mass Killing

Religion and Violence in Myanmar: Sitagu Sayadaw’s Case for Mass Killing by Matthew J. Walton, 06/11/2017, Foreign Affairs

The most common explanation given for the persecution of the Rohingya revolves around their nationality. Government officials, media commentators, and religious leaders have claimed that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Ethnicity plays a role, as well. The government officially recognizes 135 indigenous ethnic groups, and Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution grants those groups certain rights. The Rohingya are not among them. More broadly, people in Myanmar insist that the Rohingya are not a real ethnic group because they worry about the unlikely possibility that the Rohingya will seek to secede, threatening the country’s territorial sovereignty.

Sitagu’s words could provide the final cover for Myanmar’s Buddhists to ignore international criticism and cloak themselves in the righteousness of holy war.

National identity in Myanmar has long been intertwined with Buddhist religious identity. But religion has had a particular effect in the case of the Rohingya. The so-called War on Terror—waged primarily against Muslims around the world—has made it easier for Myanmar’s elites to label the Rohingya as terrorists and for government officials to defend the violence against them as a legitimate response to extremism. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s attacks on government targets in October 2016 and August 2017, meanwhile, have validated many citizens’ belief that Islam is inherently violent and poses an existential threat to Buddhism, Myanmar’s majority religion. It has also allowed political and religious elites to unfairly and inaccurately associate all Rohingya with terrorism. Thanks to anti-Muslim ideas spread through social media sites, the popular press, and the writings and sermons of influential laypeople and monks, Myanmar’s citizens have come to see the Rohingya as doubly unwanted—as both national and religious “others.”

Lire la suite sur : https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/burma-myanmar/2017-11-06/religion-and-violence-myanmar

Bagan and the World: Early Myanmar and Its Global Connections

Goh Geok Yian, John N. Miksic, Michael Aung-Thwin (eds), Bagan and the World: Early Myanmar and Its Global Connections, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, 2017

The archaeological site of Bagan and the kingdom which bore its name contains one of the greatest concentrations of ancient architecture and art in Asia. Much of what is visible today consists of ruins of Buddhist monasteries. While these monuments are a major tourist attraction, recent advances in archaeology and textual history have added considerable new understanding of this kingdom, which flourished between the 11th and 14th centuries. Bagan was not an isolated monastic site; its inhabitants participated actively in networks of Buddhist religious activity and commerce, abetted by the sites location near the junction where South Asia, China and Southeast Asia meet.

This volume presents the result of recent research by scholars from around the world, including indigenous Myanmar people, whose work deserves to be known among the international community. The perspective on Myanmar’s role as an integral part of the intellectual, artistic and economic framework found in this volume yields a glimpse of new themes which future studies of Asian history will no doubt explore.

Voir la table des matières sur : https://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/publication/2278